There is a certain species of popular music critic who tends to conflate the genuinely profound with the merely obtuse, and this has bred a culture of pop lyricists whose work is painfully awful, but is granted the luxury of a blind eye because no one wants to admit that they didn’t understand it. In reality, very few pop lyricists manage to combine poetry with meaning. Leonard Cohen did. Pink Floyd did in their best moments. It’s entirely possible that Bob Dylan also did, but I confess that I am not as well-acquainted as I should be with Dylan’s work, mostly because I can’t get past the fact that his voice sounds like an irritable cat in a blender.
This hasn’t much to do with lyrics, but bear with me.
Lady Gaga confuses me. Her fans insist that she’s really musically talented, and they’re right.
I mean, good God. She can sing, she’s a first-rate pianist, and she can write her own stuff (all too rare in the pop world).