Phew! K-Punk takes up the threads of my ill-conceived but heartfelt ramblings and generates a wave of activity in his comments box. Thanks for making me feel less stupid than I actually am, Mark.
But what the hell was I on about, eh? I guess that, in a similar way to Arthur Russell believing that music without drums was successive to music with drums, I think that instrumental music is successive to music with vocals & lyrics. I don't know when or why I formed this opinion, but that's just the way it is. Somehow I perceive music that communicates purely through rhythm, timbre and texture to be deeper than more direct communication through words. But in the same way that Russell was still fascinated with drums, so too I find plenty of joy in good vocal-based music. Where would I be without my beloved Daryl Hall, Alan Vega, Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Ronald Isley etc etc etc? The stuff that emanates from these guys' vocal chords can send shivers of electricity down my spine. But that's my emotional side responding. The intellectual side would rather be ruminating on the qualities of an Aphex Twin hi-hat sound.
Consequently, the idealist in me believes that pop should have outgrown it's lyric-based structures and evolved into an amorphous blob of mood-manipulating, nerve-stimulating sound matter. Maybe by 2104 we'll get there.