24 November 2007

Shame on you, Jon Dolan.

This morning, whilst staying at my Dad's house for Thanksgiving break, I walked into the bathroom and found an issue of Blender boasting "THE 40 WORST LYRICISTS EVER!" on the cover. Hoping that this would be good for a laugh at Maroon 5 or Three 6, I crack the spine. Unfortunately I was surprised.

Either I have really awful taste in music that I haven't seemed to notice in the past five years, or Jon Dolan is trying very hard to win over readers with his ballsy critiques. Of course, I won't defend P. Diddy, Fred Durst, or Dashboard Confessional, but I was frankly quite appalled to find Matisyahu, Common, Ben Gibbard, and KRS-One among others torn to shreds.

Each miniature diatribe included a one-line excerpt from a song by the artist in contempt; i.e. Ben Gibbard: “Your heart is a river that flows from your chest/Through every organ/Your brain is the dam/And I am the fish who can’t reach the core”. Alright, alright, if this was on display on a page of a poetry collection, I'd skip over to the next, but it seems Dolan is simply poking fun at the metered rhythm that is missing when spoken aloud. However, Dolan seems to completely disregard the fact that the singer has otherwise made up for by inserting it unawkwardly into melody, making a song like "Lightness" something I would let play if it came on shuffle. Also, to be fair, Dolan picked one of the worst songs Gibbard has written. Perhaps he just scrolled through a lyrics website on a hunt for something embarrassing? Did Ben steal his girlfriend? Take his parking space?

The pretention only deepened when he criticized Matisyahu, (aka Matthew Miller) for referencing Zion and Babylon. Oy gevalt! Most reggae singers have ganja as an excuse for hazy lyrics about Zion and Babylon. Bodily pure Matthew Miller can only blame the truth and sunlight emanating from his “humble heart.” He's a devout Jew, ferChrissakes! Perhaps we should crucify Dolan for being an unobjective prick!

Of course, aside from the suffocating ego and bias of the article, it did raise a question in my mind, if only for a split second: Do I really have shitty taste in lyricists? Although I doubted myself momentarily, I had to wonder after reading Dolan's bashing of Sting, Bon Jovi, Jim Morrison, and Carly Simon, what does this guy have left to listen to? More importantly, who in his life hurt him so badly that he has become the worst kind of elitist, the archetype of insecure males bashing that which they are incapable of doing? I suspect Jon Dolan is the product of a bloody rejection from highschool choir, or a slam poetry night at a grungy coffee shop. In any case, I give Dolan 1 star out of ten, if only for his witty recognition of the easy potshots in his massacre of music.

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