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


The 40-year-old LCD Soundsystem leader and father of NY’s DFA dance-punk revolution cedes his acerbic edge to no-one

Separation of body and mind in dance music is a well-established practice. But James Murphy is a man who cares about the words. Witty sketches of a scene (English graduate Murphy once turned down a chance to write for Seinfeld) such as ‘Losing My Edge’ established him as someone whose words were worth fluffing your moves to catch. There’s heart beneath the zingers, too, as the cocktail of hope and cynicism that is ‘Never As Tired As When I’m Waking Up’ attest. The comedown’s there in everyone else’s eye, but Murphy meets its gaze square on. EM

Key lyric: “There’s a ton of the twist/But we’re fresh out of shout/Like a death in the hall/ That you hear through your wall/New York, I love you but you’re freaking me out”
(‘New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down’, from ‘Sound Of Silver’, 2007)


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