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Lyrics or Instrumentals?
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  1. #1
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    Lyrics or Instrumentals?

    So it's become obvious to me that there are two types of musical listeners: those who pay attention to and rely mostly on lyrics, and those who prefer the instrumentation and vocal melodies.

    So which are you?

    I'm an instrumental listener, hands down. Could not give a toss about lyrics unless they're profound to me or horrendously awful. I personally can't understand the point in listening to music for lyrics. If you want good words, read some poetry.

    Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent now. Which are you?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by vhfanjack View Post
    So it's become obvious to me that there are two types of musical listeners: those who pay attention to and rely mostly on lyrics, and those who prefer the instrumentation and vocal melodies.

    So which are you?

    I'm an instrumental listener, hands down. Could not give a toss about lyrics unless they're profound to me or horrendously awful. I personally can't understand the point in listening to music for lyrics. If you want good words, read some poetry.

    Anyway, I'm going off on a tangent now. Which are you?
    Hmmm...it's not that simple for me. It's the whole package really, it all has to work together. A silly glitter rock song like something by Slade or Sweet can work great with dum-dum lyrics, somehow it all works to create a vibe. A friend of mine is always trying to tell me Bob Dylan is "a great songwriter", but thinks he sucks performing his own songs. I can't separate the two, and think Dylan is a great singer because he brings a character to life.

    Maybe that is what I need, a character that I like, brought to life by the singer. The lyrics themselves are secondary to the way they are portrayed by the vocalist.

    As far as the opposite side of the coin, bad music with good lyrics just won't do.
    It can't be "Van Halen" without Roth, any more than it can be "Van Halen" without Eddie.


  3. #3
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    Like 1234 I think it's the whole package that has to work...but at the same time as much as I'm inspired to see talent and creativity on guitar (EVH) I get the same inspiration seeing someone who obviously has talent and creativity with lyrics (DLR).

    I think bad lyrics just shows a lack of trying, lack of creativity and effort I guess. Just like simple, cliche guitar parts aren't interesting. Same w lyrics for me.

  4. #4
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    I'm definitely a music guy, a riff guy, a drumbeat & groove guy.

    I agree with jack in regards to the "poetry" part.

    Listen to old VH, early Aerosmith, AC/DC...
    Even U2 (I will follow, Gloria, New Years Day, 2 hearts...)
    Even Duran Duran (Hungry like the wolf)...

    You need the hook, the swagger, the melody, the riff, all of it.
    You need a good drummer, too.

    Metallica----RIFFS!
    Megadeth----RIFFS!

    Good riffs, too.

    All these musical poets like Dylan, jingle jangle the same old cowboy chords.
    Theres not much variation, maybe a harmonica solo.

    But really bad lyrics detract.

    Had Roth penned something like:

    You say, that chick is on fire
    I say, she's my only desire
    Can't wait to stick my log in the flame
    Can't wait to get my dog off the chain...

    I'd say, "This is DETRACTING from a some great music!
    This is distracting & Ruining the song."

    So lyrics are cool, but the music IS the thing that pulls you in.

  5. #5
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    Average lyrics with great music is passable to me, but to really get my attention have great music AND lyrics.


    Thin Lizzy is a great case with it. Phil's lyrics are practically poetry which is perfect me being a fan of that stuff. Maybe I'm just too much of a bookworm, but it makes a big difference to me. Can't count the times when I've said "Wow, fucking perfect riffs...but the lyrics blow - skip."

    Give me Tennyson or give me silence!
    http://imgur.com/Yij2gqN

  6. #6
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    Good mix of both for me. It really depends on the genre though, because I can handle the overtop, cheesy stuff as well as the more sophisticated and serious. I mean, if I'm listening to punk or glam metal, I don't expect very much, but I'd like some more prose from the doom metal.

    It has to have some sort of riff or melody though, something that catches my ear. A groove, a driving pulse, something.
    Ready, Eddie!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by unchainedguitars View Post
    I'm definitely a music guy, a riff guy, a drumbeat & groove guy.

    I agree with jack in regards to the "poetry" part.

    Listen to old VH, early Aerosmith, AC/DC...
    Even U2 (I will follow, Gloria, New Years Day, 2 hearts...)
    Even Duran Duran (Hungry like the wolf)...

    You need the hook, the swagger, the melody, the riff, all of it.
    You need a good drummer, too.

    Metallica----RIFFS!
    Megadeth----RIFFS!

    Good riffs, too.

    All these musical poets like Dylan, jingle jangle the same old cowboy chords.
    Theres not much variation, maybe a harmonica solo.

    But really bad lyrics detract.

    Had Roth penned something like:

    You say, that chick is on fire
    I say, she's my only desire
    Can't wait to stick my log in the flame
    Can't wait to get my dog off the chain...

    I'd say, "This is DETRACTING from a some great music!
    This is distracting & Ruining the song."

    So lyrics are cool, but the music IS the thing that pulls you in.
    This is definitely what I was trying to say, but worded a whole lot better.

    Thank you.

  8. #8
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    It's all about the guitar for me, but I appreciate good lyrics as well. The sound of the guitar was shot into me at an early age so I'm a little bias there I guess. I'm able to get by with bad lyrics (sometimes) if the music is killer.
    That said, I think lyrics are important. Great lyrics with great music... there's nothing like it. Stones, Beatles, Springsteen, Dylan, music and words like that really got me thinking at a young age. As much as the guitar impacted my life, good lyrics had a big role as well.

  9. #9
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    1234 put it perfectly for me, too. That's exactly how I feel about music. Gotta be the whole package blending together nicely. And singers that really get into character, ala Bruce Springsteen, Roger Daltrey, David Lee Roth and Bob Dylan, breath so much life into songs. There's a great line from a Springsteen song that sums up the kind of education you can get from well written lyrics...........

    "We learned more from a 3 minute record, baby, than we ever learned in school."
    "I won't go down in history, but I will go down on your sister."
    -David Lee Roth-



  10. #10
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    Cowboy, you gotta lose that "bouncing" GIF, signature.

    Every time i come on here, in total music mode, that damn thing turns me into
    total "i need to jerk off mode."

    Who is that babe?

    Okay, cold shower...

    Lyrics are critical, now that i think about it.

    The Stones on "Let it bleed," it paints such a picture and enhances the music.
    Springsteen was another great example.

    But they both had hooks.

    Granted "The River" is mainly cowboy chords, but Bruce adds a great chorus and vocal melody.
    He always does this.
    But the others (Prove it all night, Badlands, Hungry Heart, etc.) They all have great musical hooks.

    But sometimes i take lyrics for granted, i just expect them to be good.

    I love the Stones, and i always take for granted how perfect Jaggers lyrics were.
    But had he written like Sammy Hagar, it really would have hurt the Stones, greatly.

    I like a lot of Elton John songs, but this friend of mine would say, "Elton would be
    nothing without his lyricist Bernie Taupin (not sure if i got the name correct...)

    But Elton wrote those great melodies, all that great music, and his vocals
    were excellent (he even had a mean falsetto, for certain parts).

    So, in that regard, i think Bernie NEEDED Elton.

 

 

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