This week’s genre is more widespread than the previous niches. As usual, we will look at this issue by analyzing a main band, chiefly CAKE for this week.
There are plenty of bands who have blended rap and rock before, such as the Beastie Boys and Rage Against the Machine. Then, I imagine, someone decided they were sick of not being able to tell what the rappers were saying, and chose to just talk instead. That’s not to say that the words don’t have rhythm (sometimes); rather, they just don’t bother trying to be “fast” and “cool.” It’s almost as if they mock singers and rappers, since they find success with minimal singing/rapping effort.
However, one requirement seems to be a cool voice. If you are going to talk the lyrics at me, they had better be spoken by something as good as Morgan Freeman’s voice. The CAKE guy, for instance, sounds nonchalant, sassy, and cool. Beck, too, just sounds too cool for the room, and maintains the “I don’t care” vibe of these singers. Plenty of other artists use this technique as well, mainly because it lends itself well to both distinctness and humor. CAKE’s lyrics are hilarious, and you can always tell that it’s CAKE on the radio due to the unique voice. Also required: clever lyrics. Since the audience can understand what you’re saying, you better make sure what you’re saying is worth your audience’s time. Good singers or unintelligible singers can get away with banal lyrics, but speaker-singers need the good stuff. Thus, by seemingly being lazy and not actually singing, the bands actually need to have non-lazy lyric/songwriting.
For being the coolest dudes in the room, and by making smart lyrics that you can actually discern without looking them up online, I hereby decree that speaking lyrics like poetry will blend with alternative rock (and many other genres).