(H.A.T. stands for Here’s A Thought. Sometimes it might be standalone, and sometimes it might be accompanied by elaboration or extended musings. Some may even inspire future posts! Onward!)
There is little discussion happening about song lyrics over at the Anime Music Tournament. Granted, most of the discussion died out after the first round, leaving mainly the elitists(?) griping about voting results. But taking into account the tournament as a whole so far, along with the few analyses and musings offered by some bloggers on their own sites, I hardly saw any mention of lyrics besides the most egregious earworms (RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAY RUN AWAY).
So the question is, why? Is it the language barrier? (Though most lyric translations are just a Google search away.) Do people just ignore the lyrics and listen purely for musical qualities? (I used to be guilty of this, and often still am.) Or maybe people have looked into the lyrics, but judged them too much of a hassle to think and write about. (Much easier to argue about musical tastes and to geek out over a particular composer or singer.) Ironically, the only requirement for song nomination eligibility in the tournament was for the song to feature a vocal component (no purely instrumental tracks), in order to make the task of tracking down those tracks a little easier. Yet we ended up with people lining up to heap praises on how beautiful the singers’ voices are, all the while not giving a peep about the words coming out of their mouths.
Am I wrong to find this troubling? While I don’t find it surprising for the people attracted by the tournament to value “music” over “lyrics,” the near total disregard for the latter must signify something. Perhaps people find the majority of anime song lyrics to be banal or generic to the point of contemptibility. But isn’t the point of the tournament to seek out the truly great from the crowd? And shouldn’t that include great lyrics?