The Music Fan’s Walk-In Clinic

DIAGNOSIS: Cheesey singers love cheesey lyrics.

ILLNESS: Smarmy, pretentious lyrics that entire populations find moving.

SYMPTOMS: Unapologetically giving your best American Idol audition while in line at the DMV, women who masturbate to “Lady In Red,” guys who break up with their girlfriends set to 10cc’s “I’m Not In Love” and swinging couples who lip-synch to the “Pina Colada Song.”

PRESCRIPTION: Perhaps the best lyrics written in the history of the music industry are by Leonard Cohen. Check out why Kurt Cobain sings “Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld” in “Pennyroyal Tea” with Cohen’s greatest hits. Other classic lyricists are Leadbelly, Cat Stevens and the most celebrated, Bob Dylan.

PROGNOSIS: It may take more than just Cohen’s wry-yet-brutal lyrics for amateur song-slingers to find planet Earth; Perhaps something life shattering, like a terrible car accident or a helpful friend who’s too honest for his or her own good. Most singing is jaw droppingly narcissistic, and that’s why so many people identify with crappy songs.