Lyric Riffs

Apr 28, 2017

I wasn’t even in the running/Already had your mind made up/You left me searching for a reason/Why’d you leave, left me in the dust

from Right Now lyrics by Haim

A sad, powerful pop ballad. That’s how the all-female family band from LA returns and teases their LP2, Something to Tell You. The vocal harmonies of the three sisters are engaging and piquant, in a song about being left without a reason by an indecisive person — a common topic in contemporary pop, while the occasional distorted guitars and solid percussion turn the drama knobs to 11.


Apr 27, 2017

Iced out all the time, iced out all the time, yeah/Bossing all the time, bossing all the time, yeah/I can’t fuck with shawty if she ain’t a dime, yeah/I can’t fuck with no ugly bitch, that’s a crime, yeah

from All the Time lyrics by Young Thug

Forever stuck in creative puberty, Lil Wayne‘s biggest fan strikes out yet again. He sounds perfectly at home over substandard beats; frolicking around, content with maintaining status quo. Wealth and vice has him stuck in arrested development, and he couldn’t be happier churning out gray putty. His shelf-life is reaching its limits and with no change in sight his stock is destined for failure.


Apr 27, 2017

Street profit/Sweets geeked off it/Seek profit/Cook styles eat off it

from Shine a Light lyrics by Shabazz Palaces

Replacing the abstract with sweet, easy to digest soul paves the way for much needed straight talk. They’re standing upon a mountain and placing a sun sized spotlight on the nonsensical ballyhoo polluting the airwaves. There’s nowhere to hide when the dynamic duo are on the hunt, and by the sound of it they’ve been craving blood for some time. A blistering lyrical assault from a rap savant.


Apr 27, 2017

This bad MC with stamina like Bruce Jenner/The winner, tasting MC’s for dinner/You’re crazy like that glue, to think that you could outdo my one-two that’s sick like the flu/Boy, I flip, boy, all the time/‘Cause, boy, the rhyme you kickin’ ain’t worth a dime

from Flava In Ya Ear lyrics by Craig Mack

The fugliest rapper in the game keeps it real with a flavorful dish, one full of vitamins and minerals. His conversational flow merges magically with the loop and what started as a simple flex ends with a fury. He’s making a bid for the rap Olympics, citing Bruce Jenner as a hero. When you’re as butt as Craig you have to bring your best, and with a relentless delivery he doesn’t disappoint.


Apr 26, 2017

When that devil calls your name/And dead flowers on your grave/Never tell, never tell/Will we all just go to hell?

from Never Tell lyrics by The Builders and the Butchers

Portland’s favorite murdered out folk crew sharpen their apocalyptic teeth with this dark banjo parable about making a deal with the devil, the third single from LP8, The SparkFrontman Ryan Sollee lifted the curtain a little further to CoS, detailing the morbid witch-hunteresque threads he bled on to paper with the books he’s been reading lately, but color us fools to not see the state of America getting skewered.

Apr 26, 2017

Lifting the edge of her bed/Walking my girl to the alter/No love is like this/No sacrifices/My only child/My only daughter/How will I leave your body?

from Breathe in My Lungs lyrics by Big Thief

The non-album b-side to lead single, “Mythological Beauty,” for LP2, Capacity, rides the same reaper-accepting mortality of the Saddle Creek crew’s indie-scrap catharsis, alluding to the death of a ‘daughter’ in this equal parts haunting and beautiful exercise in a silenced relationship, filling the void with skeletal guitar brushes and an overdubbed angelic chorus about pushing breath into lungs that feels like smoke seeping through broken glass.


Apr 26, 2017

Can I tell you a secret?/I know you’re not gonna believe this/Something happened to me last night/And I may never be the same again

from NBTSA lyrics by Joyce Manor

The Californian Tumblr-punk quartet contributes to the 4-Track Singles Series of Polyvinyl with a short and meager lo-fi punk track that doesn’t add anything to their discography, or either reveal what the next direction of the band will be. Johnson talks about a secret he shall not reveal, though it only sounds like he’s trying to distract the listener from how hasty and forgettable the song is.


Apr 25, 2017

Sometimes when it gets rough/I feel like giving up/I feel like I’m not tough enough/To face the real stuff

from Call Me lyrics by Kate Nash

After the angry riot grrrl-inspired punk rock she played as an answer to a male dominated music industry, the Harrow-raised songwriter reinvents her old pop style with a more aggressive approach. The opener of her new EP, Agenda, sounds like a festival hit, with a straightforward intro and a few “ooh ooh”-s: it’s a song about not giving up, displaying maturity, self-awareness and a long-searched peace.


Apr 25, 2017

Okay your legs like a store they open up/And you got people in line/Been here every night for weeks at a time/You in my dreams, that’s why I sleep all the time

from Cinderella lyrics by Mac Miller

Elementary game, spit by a substandard lyricist; the type of weak sauce you’d get at Dave & Busters. He’s stuck in creative puberty, constantly penning rhymes that other more skilled rappers would scoff at. The lady he’s courting is the object of many men’s desires, and he thinks he can swoon her with minor league moves. About what you’d expect from an over-hyped clown.


Apr 24, 2017

I wouldn’t change who you are/Love you just the way that you are/And I don’t care for stars/No I don’t care who you are

from VPN lyrics by Mr. Mitch

Reassurance that no amount of star power will ever disrupt his love and affection. It’s a pivotal moment, one that in the end can make all the difference. Titles and accolades aside, the thing that matters most is the feeling of security; being there when life hits an inevitable rough patch. The plea comes off as desperate, as if his lifestyle is a far bigger deal than expected.



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