Tuesday, 01 April 2008
Loved by many and maligned by the rest, emo is the only genre classification whose main proponents deny their membership. But tight jeans and long bangs aside, emo really isn’t a form distinctive enough to be criticized at all. The genre’s most glaring excess – an emphasis on cringe-worthy melodrama and emotional overstatement often wrapped in junior high level poetry – is really a criticism that plagues every genre and most mediocre songwriters. What gets lost in the shuffle is that some songwriters – the very good ones – know how to exploit those very same lyrical devices to their favor, using naked vulnerability and blatant hyperbole to shatter moments of tranquility and make clear the depth of an emotion that would otherwise dissolve into the context of the song. Who can forget Bob Dylan singing “you’re an idiot, babe/it’s ...