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Gold warehouse
February 1st, 2011, 01:23 PM
Which is more important to you?
When you like a song, is it because you enjoy the lyrics and feel they can relate to you, or maybe just how the words are sung (vocals)?

Or do you think the overall sound is more important? Maybe it doesn't matter to you if the voice is drowned out in instruments, if the song sounds good then you'll like it anyway!

Or maybe it's a combination of both, and your favourite songs meet both of these criteria.

Amore
February 1st, 2011, 02:00 PM
It really depends on the song. For example, with singles such as "Check It Out" by will.i.am and Nicki Minaj, or "Billionaire" by Travie McCoy and Bruno Mars, without the lyrics it'd be pretty awful (Although the guitar sounds O.k. on "Billionaire").

However, with tracks such as "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" by My Chemical Romance, or "Sweet Child O' Mine", then the opening guitar riff is one of the best parts.

And with some, it's a combination, i.e. "Kings and Queens" by 30 Seconds to Mars, where the music itself is pretty epic, but Jared Leto's vocals are brilliant too. This is often with songs by Muse too.

Esper
February 1st, 2011, 06:22 PM
Most of the time the sound of a song is what sticks with me and makes me want / not want to listen to it. I find that lyrics are typically least important to me. That's not to say that I'll listen to a song regardless of its lyrics - because I don't do that - but in my book a song starts out perfect and looses points for everything it does "wrong", including having lyrics that bother me, and a good song is one which doesn't stick out badly in any way. And the way someone sings can make a song unlistenable even if it has good lyrics and a good sound, just as a boring song can stand out for its blandness. I like to think of the vocals in a song as just another instrument, though a very adaptive and powerful instrument, but everything in the song has got to work well together and fall into place and there can't be any discordant elements, which I find usually take the form of the singing (lyrics or simply vocal quality) or the overall composition of the music.

Kenpokid
February 1st, 2011, 10:48 PM
It depends on the genre.
Power metal, obviously, the sound/instruments are the best part.
In rap, for people who like it, however, it's the lyrics.

Alinthea
February 1st, 2011, 11:16 PM
However, with tracks such as "Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)" by My Chemical Romance, or "Sweet Child O' Mine", then the opening guitar riff is one of the best parts.

Dear God, you need to be shot for including MCR and G&R's in the same sentence.

For me, it has to be a mixture of all, but I remember guitar riffs and drum solos more often than not.

Capris
February 2nd, 2011, 02:28 AM
I like both obviously but if I had to choose I would most likely go with vocals. Not bashing anybody who likes them but I think instrumentals are the most boring things ever. And vocals can make some crazy sounds of their own so if I were to choose one it would be the one that can somewhat emulate the other.

I can't emphasize enough how boring I find music on its own though. Music is like unbuttered toast without the lyrics and let's face it the butter is the best part. The analogy is sort of fitting to because when I was a little kid I used to eat packets of butter from restaurants, hahaha.

Amore
February 2nd, 2011, 03:12 PM
Dear God, you need to be shot for including MCR and G&R's in the same sentence.

For me, it has to be a mixture of all, but I remember guitar riffs and drum solos more often than not.

Haha, well they'd just played back-to-back on my iTunes, so it made sense to put them into the post.

I must admit that I tend not to notice drum solos...or maybe I haven't heard many. I wouldn't call the bits in "Resistance" by Muse a drum solo, anyway...

ThisOrTheApocalypse
February 2nd, 2011, 03:51 PM
I think for a song to be truly impressive it needs elements of both.

Modest Mouse does this about every time for me, considering they are my favorite band.

I can like bands with bad lyrics(Caliban) and even bands with not the best singers in the world (Cute Is What We Aim For) just because the vocal patterns and instrumentals are catchy.

However when it comes to instrumentals, if the song writing is boring, or seems lacking in certain areas not much can really contribute to the song to make up for it.

Ayselipera
February 2nd, 2011, 07:19 PM
It's almost always the sound that determines whether I'm going to like a song or not. I've encountered songs before where the lyrics weren't bad at all, but I just could not get into the song because of the beat. The second most important part for me is the singer's voice. If I don't like their voice then I'm not going to like the song no matter what. Last, but not least there is the lyrics. That's not to say I don't find lyrics to be important it's just that they are typically the last thing I'll notice in a song. Many times I'll deem a song as good and listen to it all the time because of the sound and not even notice the lyrics till I've listened to the song over ten times or so.

All my favorite songs meet both criteria's. As I said before though I usually don't start to get into the lyrics till after a few listens into the song, but once I do it all comes together and becomes a favorite of mine.

PlatinumDude
February 2nd, 2011, 10:42 PM
I like songs with both lyrics and vocals, but I'm okay with ones that have just sound and instruments. If a particular song has both versions, then I go for the version with lyrics and vocals.

~Ryukaa
February 2nd, 2011, 11:11 PM
I honestly prefer the way the song sounds, but if the song's lyrics are gibberish, [there's a song called gibberish, isn't there? ._.;] I won't really pay any mind to it.
I guess that's probably why I prefer J-Pop over the Pop we're getting from Gaga, Usher, Bieber, etc.
I like a variety of instruments in a song as well, but I don't mind digital songs, as long as it sounds decent.

groteske
February 3rd, 2011, 02:26 AM
For me, it's in this order: note structure/melody, guitar tone, vocals, drums, song structure. I could suffer through a subpar vocalist if the song's catchy enough, but the skill required for the other pieces to fit usually mandate a decent vocalist.

Most of the music I listen to is in a foreign language anyway, which is awesome because instead of fixating on the words and discovering how terrible the writing is, I listen to the sounds and tones of the voice because I have no idea what they're actually saying. ..I mean, until I translate it and realize my cat could've come up with something more profound.

Gold warehouse
February 3rd, 2011, 10:20 AM
I prefer the sound as well. I can listen to instrumental music and enjoy it just as much as music that has vocals. With any song, I'll take the instruments and overall sound into account first and that's the main thing that determines whether I like a song or not. If there are absolutely horrible vocals, then it just makes the song unlistenable and I'll get annoyed about some awful singer ruining an otherwise decent band. Apart from that, they don't matter that much to me; unless I specifically feel like listening to something with good singing/lyrics.

Although when it comes to deciding my favourite songs, it will have to have good lyrics as well unless the sound is amazing. After I've decided I like a song, I'll look up the lyrics and if I like them then it'll get a place amongst my favourite songs.

Katalyst
February 3rd, 2011, 11:42 AM
I prefer the instrumental part. That's why I listen to Metal.
I don't like guttural vocals though. I like to listen to a good instrumental and clean vocals. The lyrics aren't really important to me.

Arma
February 8th, 2011, 04:20 AM
I prefer instumentals, as I mainly listen to Latin and Zouk. Most of the times I can't even understand what they're singing, but it still sounds good.
When it comes down to lyrics/vocals, I don't usually care what they sing, but how they sing it.

There are some songs I listen to just because of the vocals, but I prefer a good beat overall.

Kyoko
February 8th, 2011, 01:51 PM
I prefer music/instruments to lyrics. I mean yes, lyrics are important because they can make me feel better or sympathize with how i'm feeling, but the instruments are what usually captivates me to a song.

some of my favorite songs that have moved me the most were orchestra scores & one of my favorite bands, explosions in the sky, uses normal rock band instruments but all their songs are instrumental. you can do a lot with just instruments and I love it :)

GlitchCity
February 12th, 2011, 02:50 PM
Instruments and Sounds are all that matters to me. I like to pick out the different instruments that are in a song and just listen to that particular instrument. That is why I am in love with Yellowcard. Sean Mackin, the violinist, is just amazing <3

Saryka
February 12th, 2011, 05:33 PM
I like both, but if I would have to pick one, I would without a doubt pick lyrics and vocals. A lot of the time, I like a particular artist because their lyrics really speak to me or because I'm completely blown away by their voice. For example, Florence Welch's powerful voice is what made me start listening to - and eventually love - Florence + the Machine. Imogen Heap's beautifully written lyrics and her incredible head voice is what drew me into listening to her music. Utada Hikaru's another person whose amazing voice really got me into listening and love her stuff.

Graceful
February 13th, 2011, 06:46 AM
I honestly prefer the way the song sounds, but if the song's lyrics are gibberish, [there's a song called gibberish, isn't there? ._.;] I won't really pay any mind to it.
I guess that's probably why I prefer J-Pop over the Pop we're getting from Gaga, Usher, Bieber, etc.
I like a variety of instruments in a song as well, but I don't mind digital songs, as long as it sounds decent.
Agreed.
I also like listening to music for the lyrics/vocals otheriwse, I find it completely useless. >.>

Barney.
February 13th, 2011, 12:58 PM
It's the Instruments and sounds. That's the hardest and most important part, no matter how much singers will argue. Vocals should always accompany the music, not the other way round.

Jak
February 13th, 2011, 11:44 PM
It's a combination of both for me. Some songs I prefer the lyrics, some I prefer the instrumentation, and then my favorites tend to just have the perfect blend. Kings of Leon, I'm looking at you.

GirlieNinjaRose
February 19th, 2011, 06:29 AM
I can't really choose, but lyrics are far more important than sound or instruments, without those meaningful lyrics the song would be a trash.

unique sound
February 27th, 2011, 12:01 PM
i'm lucky my fave has it all :D

Crystal Clair
February 27th, 2011, 10:04 PM
I prefer melody and instruments but I also don't like music where the lyrics are explicit, enraging or just bad. But then if a song has lyrics I don't like, I just look for an instrumental.

moments.
February 27th, 2011, 10:17 PM
Definitely the music itself. I am a super fan of instrumental pieces of music, and while I myself am a singer, I find the actual music more consistently able to move people.

Obviously it depends on the individual songs, but I am rarely moved or impressed by the lyrics of a song. Not so much the words as how it is sung and the notes used, which I guess just confirms the first point really. :P

XtinaIsMeLuvinWWE
February 28th, 2011, 01:09 PM
As a singer myself, it has to be the lyrics and vocals :)

Archer
February 28th, 2011, 02:32 PM
As a singer myself, it has to be the lyrics and vocals :)

It's funny, I find that while the vocals are incredibly important, I have a tendency to neglect the lyrics. The instrumental sound is important to me as well, though. Clarity is very important to me as well. It it's too muddy to pick out each instrument and the vocals, it's a waste.

Kura
February 28th, 2011, 08:20 PM
I listen to a lot of instrumental music so it's obviously the sound rather than the lyrics or vocals. Though I noticed I don't really tend to like listening to women singing :C Like probably 97% of my itunes list is either entirely instrumental, or has male vocalists.

BBA_Beyblader_321
February 28th, 2011, 08:53 PM
A little of everything for me~
I like the music mostly depending on the lyrics, and how they're "displayed". Ya know?
The songs have to have good words, and feeling behind them, otherwise it's not so great....
But, since drumming is my thing I always listen for the drums, and lead vocalist first~! ;)

XtinaIsMeLuvinWWE
March 1st, 2011, 10:20 AM
It's funny, I find that while the vocals are incredibly important, I have a tendency to neglect the lyrics. The instrumental sound is important to me as well, though. Clarity is very important to me as well. It it's too muddy to pick out each instrument and the vocals, it's a waste.

I think the vocals would be the most fundamental thing for me as well :) Lyrics perhaps not as strongly important, and of course it helps if it's acoustically pleasing, but I try to judge it on if there were no backing instruments and just the voice, would I still like it? That's why I go so strongly for vocals :)

RYOUKI
March 1st, 2011, 10:31 AM
I'd say lyrics but I mostly listen to japanese songs that I can't understand so..

Anyways, I think sound and instruments are important. I really don't like slow songs, so if I hear a slow melody, you can expect me not to listen to it. The only slow songs I listen to are... fast faced slow songs?

Helstar
March 1st, 2011, 12:35 PM
For me, it's the composition that's most important. Melodies and rhythm. Then the sound quality, then the vocals, and by last, the lyrics.

It doesn't mean I don't appreciate lyrics, I just find the instrumental part much more important.

fenyx4
March 1st, 2011, 08:19 PM
Sound and instruments for me. Lyrics are good to convey messages, though; however, I see them mainly as song enhancers. However, nearly all lyrics use the heavily (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/Understatement) overused yet liked technique of rhyme, which kind of give every song an edge. However, sounds are just...amazing; I can't describe it exactly. They sound intriguing, because some sounds can convey emotions which would be lost if one tried to express the same meaning in words. I also tend to listen to instrumentals of various songs as well.

Also, I listen to videogame music a lot, which is very hummable to boot. I think people who compose videogame music have to be a bit more creative in the process. A lot of lyrical tracks get away with repeating parts of instrumentals in the song, but in videogame industry, repetition within songs is much more obvious due to no differing lyrics.

I mean, a song could have the catchiest/most meaningful lyrics ever, but if the tune is no good, it will be unlikely that people will be singing the song.

As for best instrumental IMO...this particular song (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWh_-8c1NAw) takes the cake even without the catchy lyrics. The intro, the bridge, the "refrain", the solo, and the outro have awesomeness of sheer epic proportions. :cer_boogie:

Eпvy
March 4th, 2011, 07:16 PM
I like a good combination of both, however when it comes down to it, it's the instruments that typically make a song for me.

It's obvious because I love classical music. However, vocals can ruin a song for me. Particularly metal screaming and growling. I can LOVE the music in the background but if that screaming is there the song becomes unlistenable for me. D:

Lyrics themselves aren't that important to me. I like the musical part.

Rainy Day
March 15th, 2011, 01:29 PM
Both are equally important to me. I like bands like Switchfoot, who have deep and contemplative lyrics about humanity and I also like bands like The Seatbelts and Metric, who are almost entirely music-based.