Do you ever pay attention to the lyrics or the vocals? I rarely do unless they really stick out. For example I'm sitting here listening to Megadeth and I barely understand what Mustaine is saying however I love the guitar and other instruments. Thoughts?
It depends on the mood of the song and my mood. The guitar tends to strike at me at a first listen but when I listen to a sogn again the other parts become clear.
I always pay attention to the sounds of the vocals, not always what the mean though...lots of times i listen to a song listening to a certain instrument sound one time, go back and listen another time for a different instrument.
Normally I do, lyrics play an important role in most songs, and if I don't understand a thing the vocalist is saying, I just check the lyrics. I mean, bands like megadeth have amazing lyrics imo, and not paying attention to the lyrics in the songs is like not paying attention to Lara Croft's boobs.
Uncle Vernon, Uncle Vernon,
independent as a hog on ice,
He's a big shot down there at the slaughterhouse,
Plays accordion for Mr. Weiss
I can personally enjoy music even if I think the lyrics are mediocre or poor, but at the same time, lyrics that really speak to me or are strong DO make a song that much more enjoyable to listen to. A big thing for me, though, is phonetics. Unless the lyrics are really strong, I tend to listen to the sound and pronunciation of the words and syllables as they relate to the rest of the music, rather than the lyrical meaning. A great example would be Aerosmith songs. A lot of their lyrics are strange and some don't even make that much sense, but the phonetics of the lyrics work so well with the music it's hard not to like the overall sound (at least for me).

At the same time, I know many people who can't stand to listen to great music because they feel the lyrics totally ruin it. Some people look for lyrical integrity, some musical integrity, some (like myself) can just get into anything if they hear it enough, regardless of the "meaning". It all comes down to personal taste.
Last edited by PSM at Jan 20, 2009,
To be entirely honest, the lyrics and vocals are the first thing i listen to in a song...

Its probably because im a vocalist first and foremost, but if i dont like a bands singer, i wont listen to them (for example Guns N Roses), or if i hate the lyrics i wont listen to it (for example all nu-metal)

But like i said, as a vocalist im always comparing what theyre doing to what i can do, so...
I listen a lot to the vocals, but the lyrics don't mean much to me. But then I listen to Blues and I don't speak jive...