Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicMusicLyrics · 9 years ago

Who are the top five lyricists to emerge in the last 10-15 years?

Dylan, Cohen, etc. are still active, but everybody knows how good they are. What about some relatively newer artists? Post a list of five lyricists currently in their prime that you would recommend. I'll start it off:

1. Will Scheff (Okkervil River)- How is this band not the biggest on the planet? Just take one listen to 'The War Criminal Rises and Speaks'.

2. Joanna Newsom- Her voice may not be for everyone, but it is for me. It's hard to think of a more talented musician and songwriter.

3. Phil Elverum (The Microphones, Mount Eerie)- I don't care what he calls himself, Phil has created a world of his own and I want in.

4. John Darnielle (The Mountain Goats)- The most prolific songwriter I know of and his songs are all top-notch.

5. Sam Beam (Iron & Wine)- The Flannery O'Connor of songwriting.

Jeff Mangum (Neutral Milk Hotel) is the best lyricist and songwriter of my lifetime, but hasn't recorded new material in over a decade. A chance to see him play live again not once but twice this coming fall is something I thought I'd never to do. New songs is almost asking too much.

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Sorry, but your list pales in comparison to my list. The following lyricists may not be the best lyricists in the last 10-15 years, that's impossible to determine, but I know that the lyricists in my list write extremely complex, intellectual, dark, cryptic and poetic lyrics, and they are my favourite lyricists:

    1. Henrik Olson: Lyricist (and drummer) for a Melodic Death Metal band called Scar Symmetry:

    Lyrical themes include mysticism, philosophy, The Illuminati, the universe, etc. The following statement is from Henrik Olson detailing the concept for Scar Symmetry's new album "The Unseen Empire":

    "The Unseen Empire seeks to expose the hidden hand of the elite that pull the strings of mankind in order to full fill their agenda of global domination. The album concept goes from theories of shadow governments to secret ancient bloodlines and even further into speculations of malevolent influence from metaphysical reptilian-based intelligences. Mankind's only hope to survive seems to be an internal awakening where the influence of the unseen empire that rules in secrecy is washed away from the minds of the masses. They want us to stay within the framework of their agenda, hypnotizing us with things that draw attention but has no value. It's time to step outside the framework and make The Unseen Empire visible!”

    Here's an example of Scar Symmetry's lyrics:

    2. Mikael Stan: Lyricist (and vocalist) for a Melodic Death Metal band called Drake Tranquility:

    I'm not sure about the lyrical themes because the songs are so cryptic, so here's a link to a review of their album "Character" that gives an example of the lyrical themes:

    Here's an example of Dark Tranquility lyrics:

    3. Tommy Tuovinen: Lyricist (and vocalist) for a Melodic Death Metal band called My Grain:

    The only lyrical themes that I'm aware of is science, apart from that I'm not sure.

    Here's an example of MyGrain's lyrics:

    I know I did not mention 5 lyricists, but that's because the standard of quality that these lyricists have set is so high that there isn't much point including any others.

  • 9 years ago

    To be honest Eminem actually has pretty epic lyrics.

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