#1
I posted a thread the other day for one of my bands songs, 'Fate,' and now it turns out that our guitarist likes the idea of having our lyrics checked over before we go into the studio and get them professionally done, so here is another song. The bassist wrote the lyrics on this one, and we'd like to hear any comments.

As before, here is the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Znu852-3qA

working it out
choosing the mark
taking a risk like a shot in the dark

playing the cards
roping them in
use a fake name and living in sin

doing. the. con
dont care if its wrong
can't show what I feel
my heart is just like steel

chorus
he lives a life of crime
telling the best of lies
try so hard
to cure his soul
but he just lives a life of crime

telling the best of lies
try so hard
to cure his soul
but hes just a creature of fire.


verse 2
inside man
sets up the plan
using the plays
and making a stand

puts you through hell
but you never can tell
up till the end once he casts his spell

doing the con
dont care if its wrong
cant show what I feel
my heart is just like steel

chorus

SOLO!

cant go wrong
the con
is on

Chorus
Last edited by CobenBlack at Jul 4, 2011,
#2
NB: I'm going to refer to the writer as "you" for my own sake. Don't take it personally.

First off, "something" needs to change. It took listening to the song to realize that the word is just a filler right now and not representative of the actual lyrics. What was sung when you recorded?

Pardon me, but I'm not going to give this a segment-by-segment run-down. As a whole, it reads as a highly derivative throwback (redundant, I know) to hair metal, from the instrumentation to the singing style to the lyrical content. As a whole, this reminds me of the magazine Epiphone ran in the early 00's that read something to this effect: "Lyrics: Wasted time between solos." It's like the words are an afterthought and are more of an outlet for the vocalist to belt something out that a meaningful piece of the song on their own.

Now that I've gotten over my general comments, it's time to pluck some particulars. There's a lot of over-used/unimaginative phrasing. The prime example is when two cliches are juxtaposed and are supposed to work as a simile: "Taking a risk like a shot in the dark." It's like saying, "I was seeing red like I was about to snap." If you want to sprinkle a cliche in once in a while, that's fine, but combined with the forced rhymes, it comes across as lazy.

Speaking of the rhymes, they're there to glue the piece together. The pattern seems to be to find a word that fits the theme, rhyme it, then come up with some words before it to create a full line. The "something" that pops up is evidence of that. It's fine to have to use a placeholder temporarily, but when you're showing the lyrics to people who aren't in the band, put something. Anything. If you have to bracket a few words and explain that those are fillers for the time being, OK. Writers piece things together all the time.

Finally, there are things that just don't make sense or aren't explained: The song shifts perspective from first person to third person at random. Stick with third person, since that's how the majority of the song is. "Try so hard/To cure his soul" - unsubstantiated and hollow. The song says nothing about him (or anyone) trying to find redemption. "He's just a creature of fire" - wha? Is this song about Ghost Rider, as the video implies? That's the only sense I can make of that line.

More than anything, work on dialing back on the cliches and making rhyme scheme more natural. Not every song needs to be as dense as Bob Dylan, but if you're going to say something, make it worthwhile. Simple's fine as long as it's effective.

And again, the "you" I've been using obviously isn't directed at you, the poster, but the lyricist himself. Be well. One love. Skeet skeet skeet skeet.
I am a fake mountain.