Da Musically Inclined Bomb

DePauw University's First Year Seminar on Writing about Music

Saturday, September 02, 2006

A Little Bit Brilliant

Singer/Songwriter/Comedian Stephen Lynch’s A Little Bit Special is much more than special, but extraordinary. His smooth guitar licks and rhythms make his jokes all the more shocking. His debut album covers satirical looks at an inadequate father, obsessive fans, and Jim Henson’s Muppet characters. Lynch’s angelic voice is perfect for the music’s hard hitting lyrics. His songs can be offensive if they are taken too literally. If you are easily offended you should not listen to this CD, however, if one would like to experience great music and witty humor, then Stephen Lynch is just for you.
The CD begins with a lullaby, titled Lullaby (The Divorce Song), which has a sweet and dreamy feeling with the narrator trying to explain to his daughter why her mom is not around anymore. The following lyrics are as follows: “Cause Daddy likes porno and ten dollar wh**es, Daddy gets wasted and robs liquor stores, Daddy likes rubbing against little boys on the bus, I think that’s why your mommy left us.” These lyrics that are so truly disgusting are easy to sing based on Lynch’s catchy song writing abilities. Instead of playing notes sounded together in chords, Lynch uses his fingers to hit every note of the chord giving the peaceful feeling. To compound the beauty of the song, the last verse uses the cello accompaniment that is spectacular. The song is so beautiful, had the lyrics not been for comedic purposes, the music would be a standard for any children’s lullaby.
Two more songs on the CD that deserve special attention are “Special” and “RDC (Opie’s Lament).” “Special” is about a friend named Ed, that is mentally handicapped. Lynch uses “Free Bird” style guitar part to give an anthem to his friend. The lyrics go from Stephen’s daily life to Ed’s daily life. An example being: “I ran track, hung out in malls. Ed ran headfirst into walls. As for “RDC (Opie’s Lament),” is about an obsessive fan of Rae Dawn Chong. The lyrics become more and more intense with obsession until he says: “and here inside my prison cell, just lying in my bed, I wonder if you loved me when I shot you in the head.” Remember to keep a sense of humor when listening.
Every song on the CD is worth listening to, especially the above mentioned and Jim Henson’s Dead, Gay, Half a Man, Priest and the hidden track Kill a Kitten. By many standards Stephen Lynch is a musician before a comedian. His blending of beautifully crafted music and utterly jaw-dropping lyrics sets him apart from almost all others. Do not be alarmed after listening if you are singing his songs; you are not sick or unsensitive, Lynch is just a very talented songwriter.


At 9/02/2006 6:42 PM, Blogger Becca said...

First: The following lyrics are as follows... ahhh!

Second: Nice job! You did well explaining what makes this CD good, and the examples are useful. I also like the suggestions: Remember to keep a sense of humor when listening.

At 9/02/2006 7:16 PM, Blogger Kitt_Katt said...

The lyrics sound repulsive. Why do people write songs like this?

At 9/03/2006 4:48 PM, Blogger iheart-t-ravs said...

Even though Kat has a point with the repulsive lyrics, after reading your review, I am very intrigued by this album. I am now curious to hear how he is a great musician with repulsive, yet humurous lyrics.

At 9/03/2006 4:50 PM, Blogger Godfather Outlaw said...

very well written Andrew, Bravo! My first Stephen Lynch experience was with you, and I'll back you up - he is a very good song writer. The lyrics are very offensive, but it is ultra funny. Probably a guy thing.

At 9/03/2006 6:11 PM, Blogger Renee said...

I thought your review was pretty good. I really liked how you warned listeners about the "offensive content."

At 9/03/2006 6:13 PM, Blogger Renee said...

katherine... everybody is different. While, to you, it may seem stupid/offensive to write such lyrics... obviously some people find Stephen Lynch creative.

At 9/03/2006 6:24 PM, Blogger Nat said...

I will have to agree with the above comment. Tommy did say that the offensive lyrics might be a guy thing, but when Andrew had me listening to it, I found myself laughing in spite of the lyrics. The music is gorgeous, until you realize that you are humming along to a song about killing kittens. Andrew I think you did a very good job at presenting an objective opinion.

At 9/03/2006 11:28 PM, Blogger Emily Rose said...

I love how specific you were about the songs. I also like how you began with such a beautiful description of the guitar.


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