Just Sing The Damn Song!
This is a repost of an article written by Robin Hilton, producer and co-host for the popular NPR Music show All Songs Considered. He brings up a question I've discussed many times with music colleagues.
"What's more important? The lyrics or the melody?"
Personally I'm a melody man. A song's melody is very important to me, but the vocal melody is what I really listen to - and hum. Others, like my wife, will know every lyric to every song she hears upon her first listen. I, on the other hand, will probably only get the lyrics to the chorus until I've heard the song about 5 times. Even then I'll probably only know the lyrics to the first verse.
Anyway, Robin gives us his insight and has a questions for the audience at the end of his piece. Enjoy!
by Robin Hilton
If you missed it, on our recent SXSW preview show, I revealed one of the secret ingredients you can add to a song to get Bob Boilen to love it: speak singing.
He's a total sucker for it. If an artist rattles off his or her lyrics in more of a spoken monotone than a sung melody (like Lou Reed), you can reel Bob in, hook, line and sinker.
Conversely, I can't think of anything that turns me off from a song faster. I don't want to mention any names, but let's just say albums by Leonard Cohen or the Joy Division or The Hold Steady aren't exactly the first records I reach for (all brilliant artists, just not my thing).