I wish I was better at writing about music. I don’t think I can adequately express myself mainly because as much as love music I essentially have cloth ears. Although, recently I did do a University of Newcastle survey which showed that 21 times out of 25 (actually it was 25 times out of 30) I could tell the difference between similar tunes: this surprised me.
My first reaction is always to the overall sound that I hear then I pay attention to the instrumentation and the lyrics last. So unless the lyrics are spectacularly crass or dull then good lyrics are the icing on the cake.
Save Me by Aimee Mann is such a song. Aimee’s vocals are strong, the tune melodic and catchy and to cap it all the lyrics are "At Seventeen" ("to those of us who know the pain of valentines that never came") revisited: "save me…from the ranks of the freaks who suspect they could never love anyone".
Ghost World is another fine song which captures the essence of the comic (graphic novel) and the film (but, why bother with them? the song is so good):"I'm bailing this town – or tearing it down – or probably more like hanging around".
With Paula Frazer and Tarnation, the lyrics are definitely secondary (tertiary actually). Her voice and the arrangements are awesome and often moving.