Who do you think comes close to Morrissey as a great lyricist?


Well-Known Member
Kate Bush and John Grant for me. Morrissey has the edge. I find Leonard Cohen too mechanical. Dylan is interesting and clever at times.
Also would add Ryan Adams. It's hard since many artist can be great but narrow in scope and subject matter. Morrissey managed to be equally sincere optimistic depressed funny angry poetic and witty etc often at the same time. You might find a bunch of lyricists equally skilled at construction and turn of phrase buts hard to think of many that are that good and so well rounded
Nobody :)

But it doesn't mean there are no other great lyricists, off course.
I agree with the poster who said he combines melancholy and laughter at the same time.
I don't think there are other lyricists who do that in the same way.

I like his self mockery.
I get the impression he has a very different view on songwriting.
He once stated that nobody knew how much documentation he had on musical art and artists that inspire him. At the time I thought it was very revealing.

He uses this documentation very consciously and creates his own art of it.
It really becomes his own art and not recognizable as from somebody else.
Well, there are influences, off course and they are there on purpose.
You can't say he makes exact copies.
He is a clever swine :cool:
I guess I would vote for Lou Reed.
Elliott Smith had some good ones and despite the myth could be pretty funny at times. Neil young had some great lyrics as well
Hmm...Morrissey is definitely the best, but I adore Pete Doherty and his lyrics are quite poetic. They do speak to me.

Tim Booth is great and so is Damon Albarn.

Good question!
Beth Gibbons...Undenied in particular:

Your softly spoken words
Release my whole desire
And so bare is my heart, I can't hide
And so where does my heart, belong
Beneath your tender touch
My senses can't divide
Ohh so strong
My desire
For so bare is my heart, I can't hide
And so where does my heart, belong
Now that I've found you
And seen behind those eyes
How can I
Carry on
For so bare is my heart, I can't hide
And so where does my heart, belong
also I think it should be ruled out when trying to compare music lyricists who have come after M, for they are either most likely(unless they live in a cave) directly or indirectly influenced by M. Meaning of course there could be found similarities for comparison, for those who have come after or at the time of M's arrival have it easy because they could just model there aspirations and direction on the model he has created.
You're just begging someone to point out that a lot of Morrissey's best lines are "borrowed."
leonard cohen for sure. i dont understand why people are so impressed with lyrics though. i mean, obviously some people write better lyrics than others, but to go so far as to call some lyrics genius is a bit much. how hard can it be to write great lyrics? it seems to me that lyric writing would be the easiest kind of writing around. to say that someone who writes great lyrics is like a keats is patently absurd.
Roger Waters, especially The Final Cut record. Neil Young, Bob Dylan, John Lennon, Chrissie Hynde, Thom Yorke, Curtis Mayfield, Sly Stone, Willie Nelson, Johnny Rotten. Some of these are better. I'd put Mick Jagger in there, too. When people have careers that last long enough and it seems like they don't care anymore, they are going to write some horrible songs. Everyone on this list has written some crap, but if you want to judge them by the worst thing they ever wrote, Morrissey has some really embarrassing, cringe-worthy lines. But Mick Jagger wrote some of the greatest pop singles ever. I am not going to expect much from a new Rolling Stones record but I don't know if that matters.
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