THE GREATEST LYRICISTS IN THE WORLD TODAY

 

Every generation needs its poets and here's the 23 musical scribes who define 2010.

Meanwhile, you can vote for the best lyricists ever here.

Words: Emily Mackay, Matt Wilkinson, Barry Nicolson, Mark Beaumont, Laura Snapes, Dan Martin, Sam Wolfson, Martin Robinson, Jaimie Hodgson

 
 
 

Few make being a loser sound as heroic as the 41-year-old ATP-headlining Belle & Sebastian man

B&S’ verbose, rapier-witted frontman has spent much of his life on the fringe. He started writing when he was isolated in his Ayrshire bedroom with chronic fatigue syndrome for seven years, before a faith healer cured him and formented a fascination with Christianity. On recent outings Murdoch has come out from behind his characters a bit more and addressed some directly personal issues, first through songs such as the heart-wrenching ‘I’m A Cuckoo’ (which detailed his break-up with former band member Isobel Campbell) and then with last year’s semi-autobiographical side-project God Help The Girl. The comparisons with Morrissey are obvious. But while Stephen Patrick snarls, Stuart Murdoch celebrates. BN

Key lyric: “Your obsessions get you known throughout the school for being strange/Making life-size models of the Velvet Underground in clay”
(‘Expectations’, from ‘Tigermilk’, 1996)

 
 
 
 
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