I read quite many a book on songwriting/lyricism, so it makes sense that I’ve had this for a while on my Kindle backlog, but I’m trying to understand how I haven’t read this in full before now. It’s immensely helpful on a basic level for understand each of the components of songwriting, how to break into the business and opportunities, and even understanding its history. Much of the information in this I’ve learned in classes about song writing and poetry to some extent, but I think this was a good refresher on the subject. C.J. Watson really breaks down each of the genres of music that are out there, melodic progressions, rhyme scheme, the art of crafting a great hook, among other components of creating the song, but also for setting up a good environment and being able to build upon your creativity.
And another big thing Watson also addresses? CLICHES. Argh. Dude, if I have to hear a line like “I can’t live without you” or “Got to make him/her mine” (these are actually cited as examples of overused phrases in the text), I’d just as soon bang my head against a wall (see what I did there?). Sometimes you can get away with mirroring the idea of those phrases, but it’s what you say and how you say it that counts.
This book also makes me feel better in the mention that many songwriters themselves may not be able to sing, but knowing rhythm, melody and being able to get that across in what you pen can still make you a great songwriter – and shouldn’t stop you from trying.
This was a very enlightening read, however, and I found it very practical, useful, and inspiring.
Overall score: 4/5 stars