In a fascinating editorial on NPR.org, writer and musician James Toth has an interesting take on the state of lyrics in popular music. While it may be tempting to blame the industry or the artists for the lack of poetry in contemporary music, Toth criticizes the critics for being less-than-critical:
[I]t is not poetry missing from the lyrics of today’s music, but a sense of accountability on the part of artists and critics alike. When music criticism promotes an environment of immunity for the insipid, the unimaginative and the superficial, do artists, perhaps subconsciously, take note?
It’s an interesting idea, and a must-read for lyricists and songwriters.