An open letter to Noah (and the Whale)
Please note: this is a quick criticism of the band Noah and the Whale, written in the form of a letter. It’s a quiet Friday night.
Dear Noah (and, to a lesser extent, the Whale),
Let me start by praising you as musicians. For the past few weeks, I have been listening to your track ‘My Broken Heart’: I am in fact listening it to right now. This is without doubt a great track, which I continue to enjoy after many listens. Two days ago, I discovered that I actually had two full albums of your music (thanks to a friend giving them to me: this is not an open admission of piracy). I decided to explore your work, assuming I would enjoy it enormously.
I was mistaken. But let me say, there is more to the story.
I feel that you are both/all very talented musicians: by this I mean that from a melodic/instrumental perspective, you are extremely gifted. At times I have been reminded of The Frames, and at other times, The National: two of my favourite bands. Having watched a few of your live performances on YouTube (not an admission that I use an illegal VPN in China), and having listened to your instrumental tracks, it is clear that you are very, very skilled at playing and writing music.
But to my ears, there is one huge problem: you may have the worst collection of lyrics every entered into the pop/indie canon.
Seriously, they are woeful, horrible and without merit, to the point that they ruin your otherwise excellent music completely.
After much deliberation, it is my from-the-heart advice that you consider what i have decided to call an ‘Eltoning’. Take a look at the model Bernie Taupin/Elton John have used successfully for many years, where one very talented music writer partners with a brilliant lyricist. You have the music ready, you just need someone who can produce a lyric that doesn’t sound like it was shat out of a teenage retard, drunk on two many grapefruit Breezers after his shitty girlfriend decided that he was too faux-melancholic to continue bothering with.
With this in mind, I also encourage you to stick to instrumentals.