Category Archives: Lyrical Madness

“Need You Tonight” — INXS


So slide over here

And give me a moment

Your moves are so raw

I’ve got to let you know…

You’re one of my kind

Here’s the thing: I feel like the best, most magical aspect of music is its innate ability to communicate an emotion, a feeling, a mood. Need a pick-me-up? Well, you can always call on Phish‘s “Bouncing Around the Room” to gift you a lift. Need to chillax? Okay – spend some time with Erykah Badu or Jill Scott. Mad at the world and feel like indulging that emotion? I find Fiona Apple‘s music to be an excellent choice on just that sort of occasion.

But this song? Well, this is a *letsseehowfastwecangetouttatheseclothes* song. And that’s always fun.

Seriously, I can’t understand how anyone could listen to this without getting turned on. And of course, this isn’t the only song for provocative underwear dancing–not that I’m into that type of thing…but, you know what I mean (zip those lips HI-FI Andrew!). I would guess a lot of other folks (myself included), respond in a similar way to songs like “Come Undone” by Duran Duran and “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak. Even still, “Need You Tonight” is really where the money is – I kind of think of it as the definitive naughty thoughts song.

Come on – that guitar riff? Damn. It just sounds like sex. How the heck did they do that? Add in those suggestive lyrics and Michael Hutchence‘s delicious vocals, you’ve got the song that has been touted as “the three steamiest minutes of the eighties.”

Uh, hell-to-the-yes they were – and I think all the more so because the lyrics are not explicit at all. Suggestive, yes – but it’s what *isn’t* said in this song that makes it so intoxicating.

It’s also what makes current pop songs that *try* to be sexy fail so miserably at it. You don’t need to say it all to awaken sexual feelings in a listener – in fact, being too crude or explicit can have a very opposite effect. Case in point: when I hear Nicki Minaj sing (and I’m using that term loosely) “when he gimme that look then the panties comin’ off”, it just makes me want to puke. It most certainly does not turn me on, because there’s something so base about it that it literally makes me cringe.

Now these lyrics, on the other hand, are a completely different story:

I need you tonight

Cause I’m not sleeping

There’s something about you girl

That makes me sweat

Um…WHOA. Are you freaking kidding me?

How do you feel?

I’m lonely

What do you think?

Can’t think at all

Yeah, me neither. I certainly can’t concentrate on writing anything else.

So if you all will excuse me, I think I’m gonna go take a cold shower…

Find more artists like INXS at Myspace Music.


“Flathead” – The Fratellis

This song is about a badass chick. She’ll kick you in the face, give you a bloody nose, and is kind of a slut… but in a good way.

I dare you to listen to this song and not get all head bobby.


Well, just because she feeds me well
And she made me talk dirty in a pink hotel
It doesn’t mean she’s got eyes for me
She might just want my bones, you see

Sounds like the reason my husband married me. (Ba-dum! Rim shot!)

And hey, flathead, don’t you get mean
She’s the second best killer that I ever have seen
They don’t come much more sick than you
I could go on if you want me to

It’s just so wrong, so very nice
And I told you once and you killed me twice
I saw you one time at the back of the club
Chewing on glass and a ticket stub

Said I heard you kicked the boy until he bled
Then you stood and said “oh my God” until she said

Bada ba ba da da da, Bada ba ba da da da da…

Warning: Music nerd moment approaching. Excuse me while I alienate anyone not familiar with time signatures.

I LOVE MIXED METERS. Yeah. Caps lock. It’s that serious. It’s like you’re jamming along and then you’re greeted with an unexpected yet pleasant stumble. I FREAKING LOVE IT.

My love of mixed meters started when I first heard the Beatles song “We Can Work It Out“. There was no going back. Who would stick with a lame 4/4 when you could throw in a 3/4?! Or even, wait for it… a 6/8!

And these guys… OMG they throw in a 7/8 in the chorus!! A 7/8 PEOPLE! *gasps with delight* 

It’s the little things, y’all. Enjoy them.

Well, everybody knows you’re the one to call
When the girls get ugly around the back of the wall
Josephine says you got a bleeding nose
She’s taking it with her wherever she goes

Hey, flathead, don’t check me in
Well hers is a tonic and mine is a gin
They don’t come much more slick than you
I’d drive your car if you ask me to

Said the boy’s not right in the head
And he stood and got a kicking instead until she said

Bada ba ba da da da, Bada ba ba da da da da…

On top of the mixed meter and lyrics, I have to say that I also love this video. A hot pin-up girl makes everything better… and this video has THREE hot pin-up girls. What more could you ask for!?

And she said the boy’s not right in the head
Then stood and said “oh my God” until she said

Bada ba ba da da da, Bada ba ba da da da da…

Remember that double-dog dare?  Yeah, I see you over there. I WIN. 😉

Find more artists like The Fratellis at Myspace Music.

“It Was a Good Day” – Ice Cube

If rap music has power ballads, then this may be its finest.  I was 13 in the spring of 1993, the same time MTV began airing the music video for what would become Ice Cube’s most recognized anthem.  In 1993, MTV was one of the two ways I learned about new music (the other being my sister away at college and the mix tapes she would make me…bands with crazy names like Hootie and the Blowfish and Counting Crows).  The problem was my parents, who didn’t care for MTV any more than they cared for my burgeoning sense of fashion.  For that reason, most of my viewing took place when I had the house to myself.  It was then, as a 13-year-old suburban white boy, that I realized I loved rap music.

There was and is something altogether relaxing about “It Was a Good Day.”  Perhaps it’s the laid back sampling, the steady, if not monotonous melody that loops throughout the track and invited me into an average day in South Central Los Angeles.  Maybe it’s Ice Cube’s delivery, which is never rushed, making it all the easier for me to rap along with.

Just wakin’ up in the mornin’ gotta thank God

I don’t know but today seems kinda odd

No barkin’ from the dog, no smog

And mama cooked a breakfast with no hog.

Ice Cube likes pork products for breakfast?  This I could relate to.  Hooking up with girls and wondering if I’d live to see another day?  Not so much.  But sausage biscuits?  I feel that.  For real.  Of course the music video made the lyrics come alive.  Ice Cube looked like a total badass cruising the city streets in his classic candy apple green Chevy Impala, the hydraulics thrusting the car up and down to match the beat.  Of course I was unfamiliar with the entire vernacular. “Brew,” “chronic,” and certainly “punanny” were all foreign nouns as far as I was concerned.  My sheltered childhood had left me behind my public school contemporaries, but thanks to a largely descriptive music video, I was quickly putting two and two together.  It wasn’t just the depiction of casual sex and recreational drug use that seemed so authentic, or for that matter, so raw.  It was the flow of the words, not unlike poetry, that grabbed me.  It was unlike anything I had heard up until that point.  Granted, my only real exposure to rap had been M.C. Hammer and (please understand that it pains me to write this) DC Talk, which would be a little bit like only ever eating at the Olive Garden before moving to Italy.  There was no comparison.  I was hooked on the phrasing, the clever word play, the ability to weave a story into four minutes of rhymes.  Both Vanilla Ice and Snow had ruined everything for white rappers a few years before, and Eminem had yet to break through, so I doubted a career was in the cards for me.  That, however, didn’t stop me from rapping in the car, in the shower, and in my head.

And it still hasn’t.

Drunk as hell but no throwing up

Halfway home and my pager’s still blowing up

Today I didn’t even have to use my AK

I gotta say it was a good day.

Find more artists like Ice Cube at Myspace Music.