What is Most Important to You in Music?

Discussion in 'Music' started by 61, May 22, 2014.

  1. 61 No. B

    Jul 23, 2011
    What is generally the deciding factor that makes you like, love, or hate music? Meaningful lyrics? Cool sounds? A catchy beat?
    For me, it's a good melody and good vocals. I'm unsurprisingly picky about music but I'm not extremely picky about any one thing. Basically, it just has to sound nice on my ears. When it comes to lyrics, they can't make a song but they can certainly break a song. A good beat is nice but for me it's entirely supplemental and not what I listen for.
  2. Ars Nova Just a ghost.

    Nov 28, 2009
    Hell 71
    Rhythm. Of all the strange, seemingly remote songs, styles, and genres I listen to, that's the only common thread. It's just got to have a good beat. In rock, I prefer a kickin' riff to a two-minute solo; in hip-hop, if the beat is lazy then count me out. I like complex drums and heavy bass guitars, synths that rumble in your gut and voices that erupt from the depths of the diaphragm. I tend to prefer instrumental songs, as I like to imagine things when I listen and I find it easier to project images onto the music in my head; with songs that have lyrics, I feel like I have to stick to images or scenes that align with the lyrics.

    The only thing I can think of that really kills a song for me are whiny, nasally singers. I don't care much about the pitch, as long as it sounds like they're declaring the lyrics rather than mumbling or crying them (see: Slipknot vs. Linkin Park, Faun's female singer vs. Faun's male singer).
  3. tamale Ice to see you!

    Nov 19, 2010
    Cisgender Male
    The Realm of Sleep
    The singing—the voice itself, the voice control (e.g., tempo, dynamics, rough/smooth, etc.), the melody, and the lyrics. catchy beats and tunes are also factors, but not always
  4. Guardian Soul hella sad & hella rad

    Jul 26, 2007
    Rhythm. Even though I don't have any.

    I like a wide variety of music but the songs that I end up listening to the most and yelling "THAT'S MY JAM!" when they play usually have a sweet beat and/or bassline that I can tap my foot to when I'm around others and dance to when I'm alone. >>
  5. Zekushion Traverse Town Homebody

    Jun 1, 2007
    Mount Olympus
    For me, the most important thing is the vocalist; if I don't like the vocalist, it won't matter if the song is otherwise good. I can't enjoy a song if the singer's voice grates on my ears. I tend to listen to a lot of bands with classically trained vocalists because they generally have some of the best vocalists for my taste. Once I find a vocalist I like, the next important things are the melody and lyrics and I find those two are interchangeable in ranking for finding a really good song for me, but they're usually at the top of my list of aspects that are important to me in music.
  6. Arch Mana Knight

    Oct 5, 2007
    This is funny because I don't normally listen to songs with vocalists. I'm an instrumentalist.

    Anyways, while I can listen to and enjoy your average mainstream music...that's kind of like the junk food of music. I prefer more musically interesting pieces. Layers, harmony, odd time signatures, things that just require active listening instead of letting the song just run in the background. It's this reason why Progressive Metal and Post Rock are my favorite genres.
  7. Antidote Façade

    Nov 26, 2006
    Vocals and lyrics are a big defining factor for me. I'm the type of person who looks past the beat in the background in order to really pay attention to the lyrics. I like to analyse them.

    It's hard for me to describe what I look for in vocals given that I listen to a lot of bands with a mix of clean/unclean vox. I guess I like someone who can actually do the unclean thing properly and doesn't just sound whiney / like they're straining themselves / like squealing pigs.

    Also am a sucker for guys who sound like girls when they're singing noh8.
  8. Rik Merlin's Housekeeper

    Jan 13, 2015
    Pretty on topic: At some point in my life I realized that Kingdom Hearts/Yoko Shimomura really influenced my taste in pop music. For a long while all I listened to was video game soundtracks, and when I got (back) into pop music after that, a lot of the songs I've enjoyed seem to have a lot in common with Kingdom Hearts music. I'm always drawn to cheerful, poppy music with strong melodies and synthy instruments.

    For example, the instrumental from Selena Gomez's Bang Bang Bang could easily be the background music for Space Paranoids. I'm always wondering if this is something I've always enjoyed regardless, or like because it reminds me of my favourite soundtrack.
  9. Misty gimme kiss

    Sep 25, 2006
    Cisgender Female
    The mood and emotion behind a song are often what attracts me to it, and how that is reflected in the parts of the whole. I have some definite turn-offs when it comes to music, but it's a lot more abstract when it comes to musical turn-ons, I guess. I want a unique sound, something that pulls at me, draws me in, tells some kind of story -- explicitly or implicitly. I'm not picky about vocals, either, really. If anything I prefer the natural (if less technically correct) singers to the ones who hit all the notes exactly right. I consider Joanna Newsom one of my favorite vocalists (and all-around artists), and she often squeaks while singing -- and because many of her songs are first-take recordings, those appear on the albums. To pull just one example, around 55 seconds into Cosmia (fair warning that the video has a bunch of pictures of bugs and moths, so if that squicks you out go ahead and tab out). Somehow it makes the song more genuine.

    At the end of the day, though, I'm a reader. I'm a sucker for a well-written song, lyrically. Prime example would be Bright Eyes -- vocally, Connor Oberst isn't much, at least in his earlier albums, and a lot of his songs come down to just him and a guitar -- which has its place and isn't necessarily inferior, of course, but some are still extremely compelling because he's a great lyricist. Waste of Paint is one of my favorite Bright Eyes song almost entirely for the lyrics.