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What aspect of a song do you retain and listen to the most?
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The Lyrics 1 vote, 5%
The Tune 12 votes, 60%
Toss-Up 7 votes, 35%
Totals: 20 votes, 103.058%
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(Originally posted on: 06-05-05 09:31:50 PM)
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I've noticed lately that when listening to music a lot of my friends really pick out the lyrics, and often get into great analytical discussions about them. I myself have trouble picking out lyrics and never really seem to care about them, where on the other hand I analyze tonal and rhythm patterns and what mood they are attempting to convey and musical theory.

Which type of listener do you consider yourself to be, and which do you think is the most important?
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Reply 1 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-05-05 10:25:57 PM)
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Weird title. I just today bought What to LIsten For In Music, by Aaron Copland.
It depends on what music I'm listening to. Sometimes, the melody really strikes me, or a certain instrument, and, less often, the lyrics. Usually, I think song lyrics are ridiculous.
Most often, it's a combination of factors. The general feel of the song.
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Reply 2 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-05-05 10:37:53 PM)
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for me, the enjoyment comes strictly from the melody, but interesting and thought provoking lyrics can really add to that. However, for me, lyrics can only make a good song better, and won't do on their own.
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Reply 3 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 12:02:42 AM)
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It completely depends on the type of music I am listening to -- if I'm listening to black metal, I don't really care what the lyrics are like as long as they talk about drinking blood and shit. But, if I'm listening to rap or acoustic type music, the lyrics are extremely important to my enjoyment of the song. There's no way I can make a blanket statement about what I listen for in all types of music. Good lyrics never hurt, though.
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Reply 4 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 11:59:42 AM)
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To me, only in rap and hip-hop do I care about the lyrics, in those genres it's what can make the song humorous.

I am a tune person though, likewise I listen mostly to industrial and electronica.
This reply was last edited on 06-06-05 07:29:57 PM by Squareknight.
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Reply 5 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 04:14:15 PM)
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Quote:
Only in rap and hip-hop does lyrics matter


Yeah you're an idiot.

the actual music is the most important, but lyrics always matter.
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Reply 6 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 04:56:04 PM)
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Well it really depends. It's like asking if you judge a person off the bat from how they look, or sit down and get to know them.

Usually for me, it's the tune that'll get me, I'm especially weak for piano. If the lyrics suck or are shitty, it'll just make it a song with no meaning, but fun to listen to, sort of like some pretty face with no good personality.

But there are many songs out there that I like strictly for the lyrics but do not like the music. Sort of like John Prine, some Bob Dylan stuff or Ryan Adams (sorry I'm not much for acoustic or folk type music.) Great, awesome lyrics but the tunes are oftentimes bland to my ears. And some songs I don't like how they sound too much at first, but when I sit and listen to the way the lyrics and the tune layer and comliment each other, some stuff I can grow to absolutely love.

Of course IDEALLY, you want the whole package. But for me, it'll be the tune that catches my attention 9 times out of 10. Good thread *thumbsup*.

Quoted from Lord Devon:
Only in rap and hip-hop does lyrics matter, in those genres it's what can make the song humorous.




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Reply 7 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 07:29:09 PM)
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Quote:
You poor boy.


I worded that poorly. Fixed.
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Reply 8 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-06-05 08:59:37 PM)
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Quoted from greenidentity:
Usually for me, it's the tune that'll get me, I'm especially weak for piano. If the lyrics suck or are shitty, it'll just make it a song with no meaning, but fun to listen to, sort of like some pretty face with no good personality.

This brings me to a revelation that I've always had a bad habit of observing looks before personality and how I listen to music could be a reflection of that.

Music can determine a lot - it sets your mood, and your mood in turn sets what you want to listen to.
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Reply 9 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-07-05 09:18:58 PM)
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Music I love connects with my primal instincts. It has nothing to do with words and everything to do with sensation. It's always the arrangement, the tune...for example, the soar of uilleann pipes and the way they can snag at the rough edges of my soul and allow the rest of the music to pour inside...music I love is just like the caress of a lover's hand..that one touch can set off so much. Same for the raunch of A Perfect Circle's guitarwork, it's a corkscrew winding down to the wine. Of course nice lyrics add to the feel, but really it's the voice for me..not so much the words..they could be singing 'fuck me up the ass with a fully mature cactus' over and over..if the voice was beautiful and compelling i'd be quite happy to listen for hours on end. To actually comprehend the lyrics... it's sorta like having to wake up a bit, to knuckle down and concentrate. Not so much fun but of course, sex only gets better with practice and a gorgeous song can be made all the better once the lyrics find their focus..but first and foremost it's the instrumentation, the arrangement and the voice..then last but not least...lyricism.

It's like deja vu all over again.

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Reply 10 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-07-05 11:47:52 PM)
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I listen to several different bands for different reasons. I the lyrics of Rage Against the Machine more than the music, and I listen to Lil John because his beats are great.

It really just depends on the genre. I obviously don't listen to hardcore because I like what they are saying. Most of the time I can't make out what they are saying unless I have heard the song a million times.
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Reply 11 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-08-05 03:14:33 PM)
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For me it's usually how well the lyrics interact with the instruments, and how the lyricist(s) add another facet to the song.
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Reply 12 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-09-05 05:28:35 PM)
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Quoted from asthetik:
for me, the enjoyment comes strictly from the melody, but interesting and thought provoking lyrics can really add to that. However, for me, lyrics can only make a good song better, and won't do on their own.


I agree with this. The music should be good without the lyrics. To go along with Amphy (if I interpreted correctly), I also enjoy when the lyricist or lyricists (duets, choirs etc.) use their voices as an extension of the music, becoming another instrument.

Lyrics can be powerful and great - but John Lennon's "Imagine" wouldn't be nearly so great without the tune, despite being a marvelous lyrical work, as one example.

Music always comes first, which is one of the reasons I have trouble enjoying rap, because while I enjoy a good beat, there's got to be more than that.
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Reply 13 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-09-05 10:58:26 PM)
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I'm usually more drawn in by a song with a melodic form I like. This is due in part to my tendency to sing/whistle to myself a lot, and it's usually a lot less embarassing to whistle or hum just the tune than it is to full-out sing the song. So usually, if there's a song with a tune I like, that song gets the benefit of being ground further into my mind with repitition.
Often times, if a melody draws me in, the lyrics are what either seals the deal or makes the song far less interesting to me than it was before I learned the lyrics. If the lyrics are prominent in the song, they'll usually bore me unless they're original and/or clever, and above all they must be sonically clear. If a singer mumbles or sings in a way where the lyrics are obscured by the sound of his or her voice, I lose interest very fast. However, if the lyrics are delivered in a way that makes them distinct enough, it usually makes the song good. The message of the lyrics is important too, but if the lyrics can't be understood, that message is lost anyway. Sometimes, though, I treat lyrics as just another part of the sonic picture, as some people have suggested, particularly in cases where the lyrics are in a language I don't understand. Of course, in this case, I'll rely more heavily on the song's tune anyway.
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Reply 14 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-10-05 10:36:28 AM)
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It's more of a toss-up. With more rock-ish songs I like a good melody, while with some more relaxing music I pick out the lyrics and ponder over them alot.
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Reply 15 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-29-05 12:09:12 PM)
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Sure, it's about the music, first. But there's a lot of good music around that has the power to change or complement your mood. What makes a song special to me, is if it can change the way you think. Excellent lyrics can even change the way you hear a song.

For example, the first time I heard the Dead Kennedys, I thought, yuck. What a jangly, aggro mess. But then, after I'd had time to appreciate where Jello and the boys were coming from, the sound made perfect sense, and really spoke to me on that raw angry young man wavelength.

So you can have a song where you can't imagine the music being any better, and I'll probably really like it, even if it's lyrically just another nondescript love song. But I'd prefer a track that says something I really feel, preferably something political, that engages my emotions via my cortex - and even if that track has music that could be better, I'll probably prefer it to the pretty but hollow fluff.

I think music can be a very powerful medium to communicate more than just mere inarticulate musical ideas, but that faculty seems quite neglected in our apathetic consumerist world, driven by relentless demand for unchallenging homogenised pap.

In a nutshell, I figure if you're going to open your mouth, you should take the opportunity to say something.
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Reply 16 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-29-05 01:09:25 PM)
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Normally I can tolerate a certain lack of depth to lyrics if the song structure and melody are excellent (i.e. Oasis, The Hives).

Good lyrics make great songs legendary, and can prove to be the difference in an artist's legacy. Just look at John Lennon versus Paul McCartney.
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Reply 17 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-29-05 08:55:29 PM)
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Good lyrics add to a song, but if I want a bunch of words to think about I'll read a book kekeke u give soj???
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Reply 18 of 21 (Originally posted on: 06-30-05 04:27:02 PM)
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The song is more important, ie when I listen to Rammstein or someone like that. But when I can translate a Rammstein song with what little German I know and also look up translations, sometimes the lyrics turn out good so they aren't completely unimportant. Vocal sound matters too. Incubus' singer would not sound good with Rob Zombie songs or something.
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Reply 19 of 21 (Originally posted on: 07-01-05 02:35:25 PM)
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Quoted from Bon:
the actual music is the most important, but lyrics always matter.

I agree. I personally don't often listen at the lyrics at all. Although in Metal you aren't always even able to hear what the vocalist is growling. Yet, the vocal parts mean a lot. If it doesn't match with the tune, the song won't be nearly as good.
Quoted from Angus:
The song is more important, ie when I listen to Rammstein or someone like that.

I like Rammstein, even though I have no idea what they sing. That's where the translations of the lyrics come along. I still like to know what the songs are about. Few songs with awesome melodies have turned unpleasant after finding the lyrics being utter crap. Most often about subjects I don't personally want to hear.
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Reply 20 of 21 (Originally posted on: 07-01-05 03:47:39 PM)
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I like songs about alcohol, girls, and dancing.

One of my favorite songs "sooprize package for mr mineo", proves that lyrics don't mean anything. If the lyrics are cleverly done, that makes the song even better, but they really don't matter much to me. Different strokes for different folks.
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Reply 21 of 21 (Originally posted on: 07-01-05 08:32:47 PM)
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Lyrics are more important to me. However truly poetic lyrics are hard to come by and if they are set to crappy music they are worthless. Cheesy lyrics can destroy a really good riff for me too.
Quoted from dante:
Good lyrics make great songs legendary, and can prove to be the difference in an artist's legacy. Just look at John Lennon versus Paul McCartney.
What did you mean by that Dante? I didnt understand.
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