#1
When I listen to music, I try and take it all in (each individual instrument (including voice(s)), focusing on different parts at times, or just enjoying the whole.  

But lyrics wash over me ... the word content almost never registers deeply, whereas the melody in the voice, or harmonies across voices, along with timbre, phrasing and so on, do register with me.

Just wondering who else feels like this, or whether the lyrics themselves are a major focal point for you?
#2
It really depends on the song, and maybe how many times I've listened to it. With some stuff like Bob Dylan you have to listen to the words because that's the only place there's really anything interesting happening. In general I do tend to focus less on the words and more on the instruments, which includes the voice. After I've listened to a song enough times that I have a good idea of what the instruments are doing I might start paying more attention to the words. Of course, sometimes on first listen I'm paying attention to both the music and the words, but I'm prone to miss details. It really just depends.
#4
I like good lyrics, but I'm not bothered by mediocre ones. But really, atrociously bad ones do bother me.
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#5
It depends on the type of music. In some types of music or some songs or artists the lyrics are actually, you know, important or a focal point, as much as the music itself.
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#6
Quote by Kevätuhri
I like good lyrics, but I'm not bothered by mediocre ones. But really, atrociously bad ones do bother me.

This.

Plus this.

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It depends on the type of music. In some types of music or some songs or artists the lyrics are actually, you know, important or a focal point, as much as the music itself.
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#7
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Someone asked me to critique one of their favorite songs this weekend, and so I was listening to each aspect as the song played. While the musicianship was good, I didn't connect to the premise of the lyrics as much. Sometimes, writing to relate to the audience is as important as the quality of the lyrics (if that's your focus).

The lyrics and their importance really do depend on the genre and artist's intentions. I like thoughtful lyrics, though.
#8
Lyrics are as important to me as the melody and musicianship. It's a package. There are exceptions like a good instrumental that has a strong melody and dynamic playing. The best songs for me have music that supports the lyrics and control the songs emotional flow. That's why I can't listen to music where I can't understand the lyrics. A song with bad or no lyrics is just an exercise in creating a tight musical jam with no soul or purpose. Good lyrics convey a story, an idea or an emotion. As I said there are exceptions with many great instrumentals that convey emotion in the melody and sympathetic playing technique but good lyrics can draw the listener in by connecting them to a common situation or experience. If a songs lyrics connects with me in a "been there, done that" way or a "yes I understand" way, I'll be back for more. Lyrics are as important or more important to me than a series of chords, riffs or solos.
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Last edited by Rickholly74 at Sep 20, 2017,
#9
I rarely listen to lyrics on the 1st listen. It's because most lyrics I find baaad. But lyrics are naturally 2nd to the music itself to me.

If I enjoy the song enough, then lyrics are awesome to enrich the musical experience. 
If your music doesn't engage me, then I don't really focus on the lyrics, no matter how good the story/philosophy/etc/etc the lyrics may be.
A lot of times I found writers make these awesome poetic lyrics - but the music I find incredibly boring.

And I don't like when lyrics 'carry' a song. Because then it falls more in line with Poetry 
I guess I draw a certain kind of distinction? And I fall a little more towards 'music, should be musical' side
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#10
I hate myself for it, but Lyrics really have such little impact on whether I like a song or not. I probably don't have a clue what most of my favourite songs are trying to say to me.
Personally its the rhythm, feel and sound of the instruments that touches me. If a song has an emotional guitar solo, or catchy interesting melodies then that's what grabs me.
I think this translates when I try and write music as well, I can't write lyrics for shit, but melodies I enjoy making, its what I naturally do.

My favourite band is AC/DC who are famously less about the lyrics and more about the rhythm and feel, so maybe my habits stem from that!
#11
Quote by Kevätuhri
I like good lyrics, but I'm not bothered by mediocre ones. But really, atrociously bad ones do bother me.


yeah. unless they're meant to be bad.

as long as it's not something i find offensive, i don't much care about the lyrics.

EDIT: also what theogonia777 said- sort of the opposite of what i said where in some genres the lyrics are almost deliberately silly (def leppard for example).
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#12
Songs HAVE to have good lyrics for me. If I don't like the lyrics, I probably won't listen to it more than 2-3 times, even if the music is really great. Even in genres that aren't heavily lyrically driven like rock or hardcore, I just can't get into it if the message of the song is vague or poorly written. Personally, I write songs from a lyrical standpoint first, and I listen to music the same way.

Haha, sometimes, I think lyrics are really great and until I look them up and the artist is saying something completely different than I thought, and the lyrics actually suck.
#13
Quote by jerrykramskoy
When I listen to music, I try and take it all in (each individual instrument (including voice(s)), focusing on different parts at times, or just enjoying the whole.  

But lyrics wash over me ... the word content almost never registers deeply, whereas the melody in the voice, or harmonies across voices, along with timbre, phrasing and so on, do register with me.

Just wondering who else feels like this, or whether the lyrics themselves are a major focal point for you?


I'm the same way generally, unless the lyrics are exceptionally good.