Commentary

The ten most brutally honest songwriters

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7. Frank Turner Frank Turner is the kind of poet who doesn't shy away from the ugliest portrait of himself. His songs detail disillusionment, despair and doubt in a ferociously unflinching manner. He describes growing older, feeling as though relationships are interchangeable and turning into his father (with whom he has an unsteady history). "Once We Were Anarchists" contains some distressingly honest lyrics about his failed idealism: "If politics is helping all the people, then my political career is pretty fucked, because the truth is I don't like people all that much."

6. Frank Ocean Frank Ocean made waves when he published an open letter revealing that his first love had been with another man. His subsequent release channel ORANGE delved further into the relationship, painting a picture of a lost romance: "It usually doesn't rain in Southern California. Much like Arizona, my eyes don't shed tears. But, buddy boy, when I'm thinkin' 'bout you... I been thinkin' 'bout you. I been thinkin' 'bout you. Do you think about me still?"

5. Rivers Cuomo It's hard to blame Rivers Cuomo for being a little confused, considering that Weezer's Pinkerton has been alternately called an abject failure and one of the greatest albums ever recorded. Fan and critical opinions aside, it certainly contains some startlingly confessional songwriting -- including songs in which Cuomo laments the loneliness of touring, describes his struggles with sex and romance and admits to falling in love with a teenage girl from Japan who wrote him a fan letter: "I wonder how you touch yourself and curse myself for being across the sea."

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Jesse Livingston
Contact: Jesse Livingston