Music streaming

I’ve seen the best invention of music streaming, and it’s time-synced song lyrics

The music people want to read is of course not far removed from the music they want to hear. Apple Music’s most read lyrics in Australia last year were dominated by pop hits like Olivia Rodrigo’s Driver’s license and Good 4 U and, of course, Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion WAP (I guess everyone wanted to know if they really heard Cardi say “macaroni in a pan” too).

According to Musixmatch, Spotify’s current top lyrics also include chart leaders such as Glass Animals’ heat wavesThe Kid Laroi To stay and of course, We’re not talking about Bruno from Encanto soundtrack, thanks to all the kids five and under (but especially mine, who still plays it at least 15 times a week). There is also an understandable increase in non-English acts like Bad Bunny’s Yonaguni and CKay’s Love Nwantitiand the alliterative word of Gunna, Future and Young Thug’s Pushin P.

Yet despite the obvious benefits of being able to host an impromptu karaoke session any minute of the day from anywhere, the functionality has its limits.

Because song lyrics in the age of streaming are apparently still transcribed by a child playing and pausing a tape, they are not, as My Bloody Valentine discovered, infallible (Spotify’s attempts to translate the Cocteau Twins must be a wonderful comedy, one must remember to check this). But even when they’re right, it can still be disheartening.

For example, have you ever tried to play a REM song? I thought listening to Michael Stipe’s vocalizations was quite confusing, but try to decipher impersonation of life“Charades, pop talent, water hyacinth, named by a poet”. And that’s the opening line!


Sometimes the lyrics you sing badly are better, as I learned after reading different drum, written by Mike Nesmith of the Monkees and recorded by Everyone (my favorite version is by Scottish indie icons The Pastels). I always thought the line was, “So goodbye, I believe in casino signs,” a kiss reminiscent of impulsive abandonment. Turns out the real line is, “So goodbye, I’m gonna leave, I don’t see any sense,” which… okay, okay. But suddenly I feel like Keats.

Other times I have to avoid the lyrics altogether, afraid of spoiling. Like Toro and Me Run Baby Run from 2015 Why?. I first heard this song amid rampant anxiety around the birth of my first child, and its life-affirming positivity (“I can’t wait to make another decision!”) dispelled everything. uneasiness into a lucid, avant-garde excitement for the unknown future. It would be extremely disappointing to find out that I had completely misread the song and that it is about dogs.

Likewise with Lady Gaga rain on me: I’m pretty sure she’s not singing “I’d rather be drunk but at least I’m alive”, but until the end of time, when the song will be the soundtrack for the last winds of the apocalypse climate, I will claim that it definitely is.

But really, those are minor gripes. ‘Cause you know what I’m doing right now? Got my face in my phone, reading Crazy Frog’s lyrics Axel F: “Ring ding ding daa baa/ Baa aramba baa bom baa baroumba”. Until music streaming offered hologram capabilities so I could play Grimes in my kitchen at the touch of a button, it was the peak of technology here.

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