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How Important are lyrics to you in Prog music

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 33rpm Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:20
For me the lyrics are not so important. I can't tell you how many songs I can sing along with and still not know what it is about. I always thought that was strange, but following the posts I see that it is not all that strange at all. Good to know. I can now stop my therapy!
Vinyl just sounds better!!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:35
Originally posted by 33rpm 33rpm wrote:

For me the lyrics are not so important. I can't tell you how many songs I can sing along with and still not know what it is about. I always thought that was strange, but following the posts I see that it is not all that strange at all. Good to know. I can now stop my therapy!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gerinski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:38
They are by far the least important, the proof is that I like many Neal Morse's albums LOL

Having said that, a nice lyrical content surely gives extra points. It can be the whole lyrical story but sometimes just a short sentence can be nice and give you a smile or a deeper thought. One that just came to my mind from recent albums is from Moon Safari's Diamonds (Himlabacken album): "Tell me what more is a diamond son, than a stone in the blind man's hand".
I think too I probably have some diamonds in me but both myself and all the other people are apparently totally blind LOL

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:43
^Word.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dr wu23 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:54
Doc's post on page one is right on the money .
For me lyrics are important.....but I won't ignore an album of good music if the lyrics are weak, but well written words definitely enhance my love for a particular band or album.
Et In Arcadia Ego
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:54
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 15:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 15:58
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:



Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:






Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?






Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is†interesting†and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasť?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote uvtraveler Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 16:01
Originally posted by Toaster Mantis Toaster Mantis wrote:

Depends on the artist in question and their signature style. With some groups like Hawkwind and Jethro Tull, the lyrics are a main part of a unified aesthetic concept behind their music along with the visual aesthetics. In the case of people like Zappa and Beefheart, the entire music seems to take place entirely inside the songwriter's own mental universe and the idiosyncratic if often goofy lyrics are part of that.

Then there's other groups where the lyrics work more as "scene-setting" than anything else, where I don't pay that much attention because more of the themes are being communicated through the instrumental parts. Much of Yes' output falls into this category I'll say, and to some extent King Crimson too.


I agree with Toaster Mantis....To add on, I prefer to have lyrics that are well conceived,  but I don't expect them for a lot of artists.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bloodnarfer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 16:09
Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.  Like Dayvenkirq said, if I really enjoy a song or an album I will look up the lyrics.  I guess they can ruin the song at worst and be a nice bonus at best.  They aren't that important to me.

Edited by bloodnarfer - July 23 2014 at 16:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 17:47
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over-scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasť?
1. I don't know what excessive scrutiny is and what it has to do with the topic.

2. a) "Why so blasť?" A lot of the lyrical work I heard in music is either preachy, smug, overly cryptic, or abstract (written about nothing in particular). The abstract element I hear frequently in prog. Some people write how they feel about things no one can fix. It is my belief that we have a shortage of good lyricists.

2. b) On other occasions some people write about things that just don't resonate with me. For example, "Get 'Em Out By Friday". I don't know jack about real estate. It's a boring subject, and I just don't care for Peter's scenario founded on it. The subject matter needs someone to breath life into it.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 17:51
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 17:53
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink

Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 17:54
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:12
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink


Unless (and I mean unless, not if) he meant the exact opposite of what he wrote, I do believe "unless" is the correct word there.   You don't teach English by chance, do you?  Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:23
Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Song lyrics tell the story, or at least try to. How important are lyrics to you in prog music and more importantly, how do you feel about the lyrical abilities of your favorite still active prog artists such as Steven Wilson, Dream Theater, Marillion, Panic Room, Gazpacho, Opeth, Tool, Yes and all?
Not that important to me, really. If the music in a song isn't that interesting, then I probably won't care about the words either. If the music is interesting, then I might consider reading the lyrics on the Internet. The only way to get me interested in what you have to say is if I watch a documentary on the album where the background behind the work is revealed, and that background story is interesting and the lyrics are strong and convincing. I don't really feel like lowering my standards, especially since I'm a songwriter too. I want to learn something from you as a writer.
Strange, I know many songwriters and they seem over-scrutinize other peoples lyrics at times. Why so blasť?
1. I don't know what excessive scrutiny is and what it has to do with the topic.

2. a) "Why so blasť?" A lot of the lyrical work I heard in music is either preachy, smug, overly cryptic, or abstract (written about nothing in particular). The abstract element I hear frequently in prog. Some people write how they feel about things no one can fix. It is my belief that we have a shortage of good lyricists.

2. b) On other occasions some people write about things that just don't resonate with me. For example, "Get 'Em Out By Friday". I don't know jack about real estate. It's a boring subject, and I just don't care for Peter's scenario founded on it. The subject matter needs someone to breath life into it.
D, did anyone tell you that the best songwriters use the least words?


Edited by SteveG - July 23 2014 at 18:24
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:25
^ Got anything to back up that theory? Just because someone said it, that doesn't mean it's true.

Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

Originally posted by Dayvenkirq Dayvenkirq wrote:

Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless If the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
I believe that's what you meant. Wink
Unless (and I mean unless, not if) he meant the exact opposite of what he wrote, I do believe "unless" is the correct word there.   You don't teach English by chance, do you?  Tongue
I don't believe cheesy/cliche is bloodnarfer's preference (but if it is, then ... WTF?!). But if you meant that as a joke, then I'm sorry I blew it for ya.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 18:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:40
Caring can be a negative as well as a positive.  "If the lyrics are cheesy/cliche then it makes the experience bad.  But if the lyrics are not cheesy/cliche then I don't care."  The appropriate word there is "unless" in the sentence bloodnarfer wrote.  Wink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:45
^ That's the first time I hear of such use of the word "unless". I always thought of it as a conjunction that separates the preferable from not preferable.

Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 18:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Doctor Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:52
unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 18:57
Let me throw this out before I  pack it in. What makes a GOOD lyricist?

Edited by SteveG - July 23 2014 at 18:58
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dean Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 19:20
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
Unless I'm mistaken Chester is absolutely correct.




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dayvenkirq Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 23 2014 at 19:44
Originally posted by The Doctor The Doctor wrote:

unless = except in the circumstances that.  Or an easier way to think of unless is as "if....not".  If the lyrics are good, I like the song.  If the lyrics are bad I do not like the song.  That can be shortened to one sentence: "Unless the lyrics are bad, I like the song."
Yeah, ... so when he says ...
Originally posted by bloodnarfer bloodnarfer wrote:

Unless the lyrics are overtly cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience I don't really care.
... that's another way of saying "I don't really care for the song except in the circumstances when the lyrics are cheesy/cliche and distract from the experience", which still sounds unusual to me.

.
.
.

Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Let me throw this out before I pack it in. What makes a GOOD lyricist?
Isn't your ability to think critically enough? You want a whole science on your hands. You can make a list of do's and don'ts and give advice, but in the end it still might come off sketchy. The basic idea here is this: follow your instincts but see to it that the listener doesn't get you wrong on anything. I don't believe that your style has to be totally built around what you want people to hear. You are not the only judge. I once auditioned for a metal band (what a stupid f$%king idea), and their wordsmith wanted to write a song about a rock-n'-roll prison. And, oh yeah, he listens to Avenged Sevenfold.

How do you help a person raise his standards, make him agree with you ? ... Go figure.


Edited by Dayvenkirq - July 23 2014 at 19:46
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