Lyric Riffs

Sep 21, 2017

‘Cause there’s music in the air/And lots of lovin’ everywhere/So gimme the night/Gimme the night

from Give Me the Night lyrics by George Benson

Guitar virtuoso George Benson isn’t known for his vocal chops, but when he was asked to pen a cut that catered to the blossoming disco landscape he slayed it with the type of precise ax-handling that only a musician of his caliber could do. This isn’t your run-of-the-mill, sleazy disco cut. Benson teamed up with Quincy Jones and Patti Austin, and both added intoxicating flavors to the cocktail; Austin with her flirty scatting and backing vocals and Jones with his lush, flowery arrangements. It didn’t take Benson long to craft a filthy verse, his voice as smooth as silk. And like the class act he is, he showed how dance-friendly music and good loving are as akin to one another as peanut butter and jelly.


Sep 21, 2017

Sign it from the times, something you can’t own/Life is what you find, hiding in your home/I wanna see you make it, make it, make it on your own/I wanna see you take it, take it ’til you’re all alone

from Boweryldn Edit 6 15 September lyrics by Blood Orange

Brooding, cryptic and royal; a sonic tapestry full of philosophical peaks and valleys. Jazz and soul serve as foundational touchstones, creating an intoxicating bitches brew made up of deep fried crooning. It’s heady, lo-fi and profoundly intimate, reminiscent of Cody Chesnutt‘s The Headphone Masterpiece. Blood Orange injects a range of emotions deep within the song’s contours, tie-dying it with feelings of isolation and loneliness. The lack of polish is an aesthetic that compliments the delicate nature of this coming-of-age story. No one is left untouched, and the scars resonate with quiet determination.


Sep 20, 2017

Let’s grab a gold switch blade/And make us a blood pact, babe/To love and to fuck and to only see ourselves/And remember this

from KILL4ME lyrics by Marilyn Manson

Following the first blood draw, “We Know Where You Fucking Live,” from the Columbine generation’s most divisive shock rocker‘s tenth LP, Heaven Upside Down, Manson may sound subdued on this rather sleek, goth-sex lure of a pop song, but he’s just doing what he’s always done best — provocateur with the best of them. Calling the record as a whole, “...the most thematic and over-complicated thing that [he’s] done,” this track specific vibes hard like some lost b-side from the Natural Born Killers soundtrack, swinging its hips wide around a trademark industrial beat and strobing synths, its protagonist building a case for the ultimate, morbid show of affection. It’s hard to be shocked by anything in the Trump era, but the genius behind this track is that its creep game can work both the chart and the political commentary, if you consider all of the divisions of extreme political parties that have come out of the woodwork recently.


Sep 20, 2017

What’s your status? It’s don status/Reserved for those who chose to go beyond madness/Cause we like ‘Villain you must be out your taboggin’ noggin it’s a horror’/Eatin’ Mc’s like there’s no tomorrow, starving

from Notebook 06 lyrics by MF Doom

The Missing Notebook series enters week seven with a bang. The live wire beat electrifies the scene with the same ill fury as a wayward Doctor Frankenstein experiment, a morbid backdrop that fumes with indignation. Doom is in his lair knee-deep in wicked spells, conjuring up all kinds of mad science to confuse and disorientate his foes. With no rules holding him down he unleashes his fury upon a legion of wack rappers, and is ready to gobble them up Hungry Hungry Hippos style. Venom is in his blood and like Barry Bonds he’s swinging for the fences — a missile over left field.


Sep 18, 2017

Waiting for change to come/We get none but a brother like me begun to be another one/To run up in the party, crash it/Put up a wall? We smashit

from Smashit lyrics by Prophets of Rage

Storming the castle with torches and pitchforks. The people are fed up with the lies and the power structure where the rich continue to get richer. It’s the same old message of liberation with nothing new to reignite the flame. The lack of thunder creates less than ideal conditions to spark a revolution, and while the effort is appreciated the antiquated sound has the album ending on a flat note.


Sep 18, 2017

Took out the world, but they embraced the lies/Hear the song they sing, are you hypnotized?/Can I sell you somethin’? Let me tell you somethin’/See I come from nothin’, and my hands are calloused

from Hands Up lyrics by Prophets of Rage

Injected with hype, but unable to get off the ground. Working class folks are considered heroes in this land, but the lack of detail and precision hampers the overall message. Slogans will never replace details and facts, and the mundane platitudes do little to move the soul. Creative fatigue is setting in, and instead of driving to the rim hard they’re hoisting up floaters hoping for a miracle.


Sep 18, 2017

Know your rights, but you should understand/Who owns who (systematic breakdown)/Know your rights, but you should understand/Who owns who

from Who Owns Who lyrics by Prophets of Rage

High octane fuel meant to ignite a revolution. They’re demanding that the people wake up and understand that their rights are slowly being taken away. The indifference will be the end of free thought, and it has them asking some very important question. Knowing your rights and hipping yourself to game is the first step, the alarm that explains to the masses that knowledge will set you free.


Sep 18, 2017

I will grow my herb, you better spread the word/Don’t’ matter what you heard, this whole thing’s absurd/Let’s fight back (Fight back)/’Cause it’s like that (Yeah, it’s like that, come on)

from Fired a Shot lyrics by Prophets of Rage

Wailing guitar riffs sound the alarm, but the troops have trouble rallying behind a message that is vague and uninspiring. By this time the fight the power rhetoric is wearing thin, reduced to bumper sticker status. Most have grown numb to the dialogue and the lack of ingenuity renders the message obsolete. They’re getting winded and the lack of focus becomes more apparent with each passing song.


Sep 18, 2017

Working 9 to 5 all your life/Feeling like you’re left behind/Everyday’s a struggle/Breaking for a peace of mind

from Strength in Numbers lyrics by Prophets of Rage

Choppy guitar licks mimic the frazzled mind of your average working stiff. They’re analyzing the mind of an overworked individual and how there’s a residual impact on a person’s quality of life when they have to slave just to make a living. It’s an anthem meant to give the power back to the people, educating them and directing them towards self-empowerment. A people’s liberation.


Sep 18, 2017

Drones/They got you tapped, they got your phone/Look out/Drones/They got ya trapped, they spot your home/’Cause you’re a target

from Take Me Higher lyrics by Prophets of Rage

Those pesky drones have the dynamic duo checking their shoulders. It’s not as threatening as a drooling politician, so the troops craft a soundscape that is more Parliament than Rage. Funk is a backdrop that both lyricists can appreciate and they sound perfectly comfortable in their armchairs admonishing the digitized spies. It’s a baffling world, as strange and backwards as science fiction.



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