What is more important in a song, the instrumentals or the lyrics?

My friend and I got into a bit of an argument today. He's a huge Justin Bieber fan and I am definitely not. It's not that I hate Justin Bieber, it's just that I find him to be highly overrated. When he first started off his music was corny. The instrumentals and the lyrics were basic. However, he acquired a large fan base because many teenage girls liked him because of his looks. Now his music has gotten better. I'm still not a fan. The instrumentals and his beats have gotten a lot better, and his vocals are ok, but his lyrics are still basic. My friend is arguing that the beat and the instrumentals are far more important than the lyrics in a song. I think that the lyrics are more important. You can connect with the lyrics, the singer can tell a story with the lyrics, the lyrics have the message! So what part is more important?

  • Lyrics
    Vote A
  • Instrumentals
    Vote B
  • Both
    Vote C
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What Guys Said 1

  • I am just like you: the lyrics really matter most to me. I can't stand listening to a singer/band that is obviously kind of dumb. I'm into smart music that makes me look at things in a new way. Hiphop music is a good example to use here: I like hiphop music quite a lot but I'm extremely picky when it comes to rappers whose music I actually want to buy/listen to. I absolutely hate gangsta-rap. Anyone high school drop-out can rap about him dealing drugs and fucking some hoes and driving a BMW etc. You really don't need to be an Einstein to make up that kind of hiphop music. I'm just an average Joe when it comes to music and I could easily poop out some gangsta-rap lyrics in 10 minutes. What I want to listen to are hiphop lyrics that blow my mind. I want to listen to highly talented, eloquent rappers with a big vocabulary, a great feeling for language and a real interest and deep inside into world affairs (be it something like love or international politics).

    There are, however, a few exceptions. Namely, I can be okay with boring lyrics in these musical categories: Blues, Jazz and Classical music. For example I am okay with blues singers inventing some impromptu lyrics because in this case, it's really not about the words, it's mostly about the grove. I can also be okay with classical choirs repeating "Kyrie eleison" and other genre-typical phrases 15 times in one piece because again, the words are not really important here. A Beethoven symphony can also be enjoyed without the lyrics, even if Beethoven did write lyrics to some of his pieces.

    But generally speaking, lyrics do matter a lot to me. One reason for this is that when I listen to music, I want to hear something special and authentic. This is also why I would NEVER EVER listen to Justin Bieber or any of those other commercialized American pop stars: they don't make their music themselves. When your friend says that Justin Bieber makes good music, she should actually correct herself and say "Justin Bieber's staff makes good music". Justin Bieber (and most other pop stars who make the type of mainstream music you hear on the radio) neither write their own lyrics nor do they compose their own music. It's all given to them by professionals who actually understand a thing or two about music and make a living as music ghostwriters. All that Justin Bieber does is practice the songs he is given and sing them into a microphone. Personally, I find that pathetic and I can't take "musicians" like that serious.

    • Somebody finally gets me! I feel the exact same way. By the way, you called my friend a "she" but he's a he.

What Girls Said 2

  • I say both. It doesn't matter if the lyrics are good, if the music accompanying it is crap it's not good to listen to, and vise versa.

  • They say music is the universal language...
    The reason it's said is because lyrics don't matter that much, a good song in another language you don't understand will still always be a good song.

    • Not necessarily. I know a few songs that are in Spanish, and although the vocals are amazing, I still took the time to learn the lyrics. The lyrics matter most to me.