You decide for yourself, whether James Toth is asking too much from both songwriters and listeners. Either way, this is a piece every songwriter should consider.
“To be a mouthpiece of any kind in these content-saturated times is an enviable and increasingly rare position, and with this privilege ought come certain responsibilities: An artist’s lyrics should honor the reciprocal contract between artist and listener; they should aim to seduce, puzzle, bewitch or provoke something in us that reflects our shared human experience. They should say something to us about our lives. But we as listeners and critics must fulfill our end of this bargain, and hold our favorite artists accountable for what they say — and more importantly, what they do not. Modern music media who refuse to confront music holistically — who cut lyricists slack — are complicit in the destruction of a rich modern tradition that begins with WC Handy and might very well end with Bill Callahan.” – James Toth
Toth considers the modern-day music industry and music-reviewer behaviour, in an attempt to explain why an artist can get away with delivering terrible lyrics.
Read the full article here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/bestmusic2013/2013/12/16/251618167/thats-a-bad-lyric-and-you-know-it