Lyric Riffs

Jun 11, 2014

3, 6, 7, equalizer/3, 6, 7, equalizer/You could do what I do, or do what they say

from 367 Equalizer lyrics by Guerilla Toss

Today’s hottest noise band is back with a track combining Primus-y thrash-funk bass, reggaeton beats, and air raid sirens in the most oddly catchy way. Over the top, lyricist Kassie Carlson rhythmically rap-screams largely unintelligible nonsense to facilitate you losing your shit; [LISTEN].

Jun 11, 2014

Fuck them niggas if they ain’t fucking with me/People closest to you could turn into enemies/Fuck the bitch but first I made her get down on her knees/Them other niggas scrawny, man, they ain’t fuckin’ with me

from Dog Meat lyrics by DaVinci & Sweet Valley

Even with all the repeating “fucks,” there’s a solid amount of material in under two minutes. Some of DaVinci’s rhymes fall into an unoriginal misogyny, but in addition to Wavves’ production featuring wind chimes, skittering hi-hats bordering on trap, the melodic hook seals it up; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

Tight swifts, so vivid, my folks is close knitted/With every note we’re gon’ get close to your spirit/If not post and pivot some folks just don’t get it/We got a gross fetish for beats and dope lyrics

from The Way We Do It lyrics by Jurassic 5

With a well-chosen White Stripes sample in tow, J5’s first new track in eight years harkens back to the glorious 90’s era of hip hop, just in time for summer. The lackluster hook reminds that it’s no “Quality Control,” but everyone’s lyrically melodic feel maintains their classic style; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

Well, Want and Able were crossing the road/Want had a feeling there was something he was owed/But Able broke it to him that there’s a social code/So walk straight down the middle now and do what we’re told/Walk straight down the middle now and do what we’re told

from Want and Able lyrics by Jack White

Crow sound effects and a balladic 6/8 drinking song feel help White discuss both the positive and negative natures of desire and achievement. All the while, as seems a requirement for this album, White drops a few lines about “doing what you’re told” once again; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

Birds of a feather may lay together/But the uglier one is always under the gun

from I Think I Found the Culprit lyrics by Jack White

White’s message here attacks superficiality as well as, once again, the sense of “doing what you’re told.” He sure knows how to construct a song, but here it seems to be built completely on a mosaic of other artists’ riffs – most notably, the walk-down from “The Wall;” [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

In a time when everybody feels entitled/Why can’t I feel entitled too?/Somebody took away my God given right/I guess God must have gave it to you/Yeah, I guess God must have slipped it to you/Stop what you’re doing and get back in line/I hear this from people all the time/If we can’t be happy then you can’t be too/I’m tired of being told what to do/Yeah, I’m sick of being told what to do

from Entitlement lyrics by Jack White

This fairly standard 6/8 country ballad gets right under the skin – namely because I can imagine few people (not to mention rock musicians) more “entitled” than White. Case in point: The Raconteurs. As such, even if he’s supposedly projecting onto a third-person narrator, the plot is bothersome.

Jun 10, 2014

Yeah, she’s built for speed like a black castrum doloris/Good for the needy, like Nietzsche, Freud and Horace/But I’m skin, flint, broke, making no money, making jokes/But baby, I won’t joke with you

from That Black Bat Licorice lyrics by Jack White

Although it immediately feels slightly cheesy (thanks to the vibraslap), White’s rap-like lyrical speed and preacher-passionate delivery pick up the slack left by his blues-scale dependence. A lot of this album toes that line due to blues’ limitations after eight albums and countless other works; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

I’m becoming a ghost/Becoming a ghost/So nobody can know me…I’m alone in my home/Alone in my home/Nobody can touch me

from Alone in My Home lyrics by Jack White

Another lyrically dark track to follow in the “Would You Fight…?” footsteps, “Alone…” is contrastingly backed by pretty yippy-skippy piano chord progression. White continues his “ghostly” motif, and once again worries about turning into one himself, thanks mostly to lost love; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

You drink water, I drink gasoline/One of us is happy, one of us is mean/I love you, but, honey, why don’t you love me?

from Just One Drink lyrics by Jack White

White and his “cold” lady-friend are on two very different wavelengths – he “watch[es] TV, [she watches] the ceiling” – a fun little romp, but only if you’re down with an incredibly familiar, surfy rock-n-roll vibe, one that’s probably a bit too familiar; [LISTEN].

Jun 10, 2014

It’s not enough that I love you/There’s all these things I have to prove to you/You use the sun to erase the past/But you think it only raises for you

from Would You Fight for My Love? lyrics by Jack White

Darker than his usual fare, White still maintains his straight-ahead rock feel here. He “want[s] you to fight for [his] love” on a solid track – even though the opening lines accuse the song’s subject of making him jump through unreasonable hoops to prove his love. It sounds toxic both ways.


What is a RIFF?

A RIFF is a bonsai-trimmed song review in 300 characters or less, plugging your favorite lyric. Create your own, vote others to the TOP - the lyric is your oyster.