Liking the lyrics

For some people there is nothing better than a solid drum beat, wicked guitar solos and a complicated musical arrangement. For others, it is all about the lyrical quips. Whether clever, thought provoking or bizarre, these artists are at the top of their game.
Frame and Canvas by Braid
Formed in the Champaign-Urbana region in the early 1990’s, Braid is one of the most recognizable names in the history of the so-called emo genre. On 1998’s Frame and Canvas, the band solidified its sound behind the wordplay and intriguing lyrics of lead singer Bob Nanna. With lines like “won too few in one too many” and “if deception’s fine / then this is divine / define divine define divine,” Frame and Canvas reads like a tribute to the twenty-something lifestyle.
Left and Leaving by The Weakerthans
The lyrics of John K. Samson are the best kind; one liners that are clever and insightful without being cheesy in the least bit. This is the poetry you wish you read in English class. While The Weakerthans have a number of worthy releases, the mixed metaphors and literary quality of Left and Leaving deserves special note for the reminder that “all straight lines circle sometimes.”
Tallahassee by The Mountain Goats
John Darnielle is ridiculous. With more than just a handful of releases and a series of revolving lyrical plots, Darnielle prefers to create stories rather then rely upon the common theme of verse-chorus-verse writing. On Tallahassee, Darnielle introduced the world to the Alpha Series and the struggles of the life of one couple. Perhaps the most well-known song on the album, “No Children,” is bitter, yet truthful with statements like “I hope that our few remaining friends / Give up on trying to save us / I hope we come up with a failsafe plot / To piss off the dumb few that forgave us.”
In the Aeroplane Over the Sea by Neutral Milk Hotel
While it is true that Jeff Magnum may have some personal issues and a good portion of the time it is hard to decipher if anything he sings is what is really seems, nothing could stop him from crafting one of the most respected albums of all time. On In the Aeroplane Over the Sea, Magnum questions “how strange it is to be anything at all…,” and who can’t agree with that?

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