I am all for an artist wearing their heart on their sleeve, I am a sucker for it! I always appreciate a song more, when I know the story behind it. Back when I used to sing, it certainly helped me in my interpretation too. I loved singing my own arrangements of songs by Culture Club, because I had read Boy George's autobiography many times (it's a great read, even for a non-fan) and knew precisely what the songs were about. I guess it's like an actor researching a role, but that aside, can a song writer be too honest in their lyrics? Is it anyone's place to judge what is "too honest"?
I'll mention Boy George again, because his most recent solo album had a song that kind of made me uncomfortable, with the passage:
"I hold nothing back, I give it all away
I am the Thunder 317
Blue eyed, vulnerable seeking similar
Camp-acting, very scene, Im flaming, Im screaming
Looking for someone brave enough to love me"
The song was about a 20YO boy, who had used George for money and fame and broken his heart, fine, but what made him put his internet dating profile in it? I suppose looking for love on the net is hardly shameful in this day and age, but singing about it? It made me uncomfortable, because to me it drew a picture of someone who was "on the edge", so to speak... so to find out he was back on drugs and committing violent acts didn't come as much of a shock to me.
How do others feel about this? I have always had a big mouth. "I'm not honest, I'm blatant!" was my motto and it lead to bullying and exclusion by others. My big mouth still gets me in the odd spot of bother, but I don't open it as often as I used to. Some people might say that the lyrics I write are too honest/blatant, especially those who have hang-ups about sex. If a person is truly happy to air their dirty linen in public, then I guess who am I to say that they shouldn't?
I'm rambling now. I would like to know how others feel.