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From the second I hit post to the second you replied, I was genuinely so worried you were going to be offended or even upset. The whole time, my brain was screaming "SHOULDN'T HAVE POSTED. IDIOT" So yeah, I'm relieved you're okay with my comments! I always meant them in a more positive way than could have been interpreted. And no songwriting as of yet... I write a lot of longer-form pieces, so I feel like this wouldn't be an easy medium for me (despite lyrics undoubtedly being my favourite thing about music!).
I definitely get the Lana Del Rey vibe; that kind of dark, sexy beat was the sound I had in my head throughout. It was really just that one line that screamed Billie, but hey: it's no bad thing when he seeps in to your writing If you were hoping to evoke a feeling with your lyrics, then you really did succeed. Without music, I'm naturally driven towards catchiness and bounce, hence my first call is always towards tighter lyrics. But I can't argue with what you've set out to achieve: the message is crystal clear, without a doubt.
It's great to break away from convention sometimes, especially when you've got such an obviously good grasp of language. This might sound odd maybe, but there's an unmistakable sound to your lyrics that betrays a life of absorbing great pop music. You're a student of the genre, and it shows Have you got some more nearly done? Can't wait to see them!
I thought I'd finally be brave enough to comment I always like to try and drill down into any kind of writing, so please please *please* don't take the specificity as damning criticism. It's actually because I really like your writing that I'm even offering suggestions!
The cadence of the first couple of lines is really good, to the point that I found myself effortlessly singing to a song I have no melody for. You seem to struggle a little with the rest of that verse; too many syllables per line makes it feel a little unwieldy. While not as accurate, tweaking it to something like "Careless, my cotton hits the floor / Teach me how to feel, and to adore" would help the flow.
A similar problem occurs in the next verse. Another good first line, but looping the sentiment through to the start of the next line feels a little stuttering. I feel a better version of that line is perhaps "Addicts to another's taste and time".
The chorus is simple but direct, which I liked a lot. The only slight problem I have is the "Waste me, like wasted time" part. While I get the Sassafras Roots feel you're swinging for, the slight irreverence of the line makes for an awkward contrast to the desperation of the surrounding lines. Annoyingly, I can't think of an alternative at the moment, but perhaps something will come to me!
Another wonderful pair of opening lines right after the chorus; "Of poison kisses, as smooth as cigarettes," is really great imagery that strongly evokes some of Billie's writing "Strung out..." is good too, but again: lose the unnecessary syllable of 'this' to tighten it up.
The last verse is the most difficult; something about it just doesn't hang together properly, and it's hard to pinpoint why. "Into pieces, each tender one for you to take," could perhaps be "Each tender piece for you to take", which feels lyrical rather than the more poetic form in the original. "Your electric touch is ecstasy" could *maybe* become "Your touch is electric ecstasy" - the slight aliteration gives it an edge. There's nothing wrong with the last line (repeating, as it does, the form from the other verses), but since it's your final one it would be nice to put a new twist on it: the lyrical equivalent of going up an octave for the last chorus. Replace the "teach" with a similar, but different word? The listening would still pick up on the hook, but would also be surprised too.
With the bridge, you have that definite poetry to lines like "For breathless words I yearn to speak". It's almost more of a sonnet than a song lyric, if that makes sense. I haven't got a set idea really, which is annoyingly unhelpful. "All these breathless words and [something]" is more of a lyrical form; the 'and' in particular. Something about a leaping heart? I'm just throwing ideas out here, I guess. The repeat at the end of the bridge is good, but maybe change the penultimate line to reflect a shared feeling: "Our" or "we", which then nicely moves into the more personal "...*I* want the most".
I hate commenting on lyrics, because a lot of lines you think wouldn't work are transformed by music. It's one of the hardest forms to criticise in isolation for just that reason. So do take my comments here with a pinch of salt, particularly if you have a melody in your head already. All the edits I made to shorten the lines could easily make it worse if you were writing to something specific, so do keep that in mind
Above all, it's a great piece and you really do convey a powerful feel and message. I can see why it took you so long to get your head around the title, which - like you say - is a great match for what you finally had the experience to write. I thought about deleting this a couple of times out of fear you'd lose sight of that amongst the criticisms, which would be a tragedy. You've got loads of talent and some killer lines. I'm just a dude on the internet with an opinion. We're a dime a dozen; talent is not
As far as I'm concerned, everything Billie has written was leading up to American Idiot. There were standout lines throughout all the proceeding albums (from Dry Ice right through to Macy's Day Parade), but American Idiot really is a stunning moment of realisation. Anarchic, yet awash with symbolism of the traditional family home. A record that somehow melded cynicism with a heartfelt call to arms. It's a once in a generation record, and a once in a career record to boot.
Everything since has tried too hard, either with 21CB's penchant for metaphor, or the trilogy's self-conscious abandon. They have good lines amongst them, but the whole never stands up like it did with American Idiot.
There's no particular crisis to remedy here, really. The records have sold reasonably, and the band will easily sell out the majority of the tour, just as they always have. The 'crisis' is one largely manufactured by a media who love nothing more than a narrative. 'Slightly underwhelming' just doesn't have the same mileage.
In any case, the comeback route here is straightforward:
Big interview with a respected publication that are friendly to the band's interests. David Fricke over at Rolling Stone is the obvious choice, given his positive and knowledgeable coverage of the band over the years.
Like the article suggests, consider releasing either a special edition of the trilogy or a condensed single CD release. One final video, worldwide release. No region specific singles. Try to push again for radio play.
Schedule TV appearances on the back of that release, and/or Quatro. The usual candidates, many of whom they were lined up to appear on last year: Letterman, Conan, Leno, Jools Holland, and one of the morning shows.
Get out and play a reduced world tour, leading up to big festival appearances in the summer. Their current fans aren't going anywhere, and will happily wait until next year for the second leg of the tour. Even at this stage of their career, festivals remain a great opportunity to play for potential new fans.
That is probably the best chance they have to get back on a level footing. Mistakes were made and obviously the rehab further screwed things up, but nothing is that bad. As ever, Green Day will be fine and the tour will kick ass. The 'triumphant return' articles basically write themselves
Fun as it is, trying to apply logic to the entire concept of swearwords is futile. They're all just letters, arranged in an order society has arbitrarily declared offensive. So now we say "The F word", like that's entirely different to saying fuck. Or, even worse, spell them out around children. JUST FUCKING SAY IT, CUNT.
1) You can't arbitrarily call the trilogy Green Day's 'best' any more than I can Chinese Democracy. Billie said so? Great, did Axl Rose trash his latest album when he was promoting it?
2) Metacritic is a consensus website. I didn't cherry pick a good Uno review, and you shouldn't cherry pick a good CD review. Those scores represent a broad opinion of those albums.
3) Already discussed. The reviews do not support your assertions.
I realise you said this, but just for absolute clarity, the critical consensus - which you place so much importance on - on Chinese Democracy and Uno:
This doesn't make any sense. Even if I humor you and pretend they got the same rating, how does the same rating mean Guns n Roses are still better? I'm more than happy for you to prefer GNR over Green Day, but you can't make appeals to an authority that directly contradicts you.
Yes, let's not turn this into another Green Day rip off thread. It's more interesting to talk about the little references scattered around the tracks
Just to circle back to this. I'm sure he mentioned in an interview a long time ago that Waiting was indeed a little nod to Petula Clark, hence the 'Downtown' part you mention, although I can't find it now. The difference from Brutal Love in that instance is that he only really borrowed that particular vocal inflection from the song; the melody and lyrics are all Green Day, so it wasn't worth a writing credit.
A similar example is 'Uptight' from Nimrod. Again, Billie takes the vocal phrasing from Stevie Wonder's Uptight (Everything's Alright), but nothing else is related
Honestly, they make a different number up every time they're asked this. It's been everything from 39 through to 65, and that has held true for every single record they've ever done. If it was true, we'd be drowning in b-sides by now, but we aren't.
For the most part, the ones he completed are are the ones we got.