Lyrically driven music speaks to our own individualized experiences – it is how we can derive meaning from our lives, with so much being said within the span of a 3 and half minute song. Whenever I listen to a song for the first time, I ask myself what strikes me the most lyrically, and how it constitutes my own multi-faceted, scattered and imperfect life. In doing so, I am able to make sense of the world around me.
Furthermore, I think it’s interesting to look at what songs others feel so strongly towards and how it may fit into their own lives. That being said, for this week’s blog, I’ve decided to ask each of the Brains and this semester’s interns their favorite lyrically driven album, a reason why, and a stand-out lyric. From Alanis Morissette, to Green Day, to Josh Rouse, the Brains had some fantastic picks.
#1) Ayla Kress (Founder & Creative Overlord)
The Much Much How How and I by Cosmo Sheldrake (although it's not very lyrically driven it's my favorite album of all time).
It's the perfect combination of my two favorite things – nature and music. Through organic elements and raw nature sounds combined with peculiar instruments, (largely wood instruments) he crafted something truly unique and beautiful. It's also the BEST album to listen to while on a trail run.
There goes that myth again
That all of this is but a machine
#2) Tony Chiarella (Keeper of the Realm)
The Ecstatic by Mos Def
Mos Def (Yasiin Bey) is considered one of the best lyricists in hip-hop and this album is a testament to his unique approach of storytelling. He is able to craft his stories with almost no cursing, a rarity for this era of hip-hop (2009). He paints a very real depiction on the struggles of life from the perspective of growing up and getting out of the hood - but maintains a positive outlook on what the future holds.
And we are alive in amazing times
Delicate hearts, diabolical minds
Revelations, hatred, love and war
And more and more and more and more
And more of less than ever before
It's just too much more for your mind to absorb
It's scary like hell, but there's no doubt
We can't be alive in no time but NOW
-“Life In Marvelous Times”
#3) Kristen Davis (Creative Brain Operator)
Mer de Noms by A Perfect Circle
I believe the album saved my soul more than once in my prime years of growing as a human and made me feel a true release of letting my heart sing through another vessel.
Threw you the obvious
And you flew with it on your back
A name in your recollection
Down among a million same
#4) Tali Izhaky (Commander of Publishing)
Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette
I love this album because at a time when labels ran the music industry, Morissette put an album out that screamed screw the labels, I am a powerful woman who will not be told what to do.
There are so many lines to choose from but one that always gets me is the first line in "Right Through You", a song about getting walked over by men in the industry:
Wait a minute man
You mispronounced my name
You didn’t wait for all the information
Before you turned me away
-“Right Through You”
Also, growing up people always mispronounced my name, so that resonated with me haha!
#5) Amber Solheim (Promotional Alchemist)
1972 by Josh Rouse
In this album, Josh Rouse is able to evoke nostalgia even for things someone hasn't experienced.
In the dark
So tired of waking up and it's dark
So tired of being stuck on my own here
Norway is cold dear
-"Come Back (Light Therapy)”
#6) Mike (Creative/Digital Marketing Intern)
American Idiot by Green Day
It addresses a wide audience and hints at many political and social tensions happening during the same period.
And there’s nothing wrong with me
This is how I’m supposed to be
In a land of make believe
That don’t believe in me
-”Jesus of Suburbia”
#7) Emily (Artist Management Intern)
Nothing Happens by Wallows
This album can hype me up or calm me down, but just the actual artistry that went into making it is so obvious and so strong.
Standing outside of your house,
It’s pretty dark out
Good thing there’s lights
It’s pretty cold though
I just need you right here
To warm me up this time
-”Ice Cold Pool”
That’s specifically my favorite because it was taken and transformed from a previous song on an EP.
#8) Will (Data Analytics Intern)
Permanent Waves by Rush
Wide diversity of songs and musical experimentation.
The most endangered species, the honest man
Will still survive annihilation
#9) Aya (Music Sync/Publishing Intern)
Stranger in the Alps by Phoebe Bridgers
The specificity, uniqueness, and storytelling that Phoebe incorporates into this album, in my opinion, is unparalleled to many songwriters today. She is able to transform the feeling of mundanity in everyday life, into lyrics that translate to very particular emotions and experiences.
And I have this dream where I'm screaming underwater
While my friends are all waving from the shore
And I don't need you to tell me what that means
I don't believe in that stuff anymore
Each of these albums holds some significant meaning to each member here at Brain Candy. Now that each of the Brains have shared their favorites, comment down below what your top lyrically driven album is!