What about a song captivates you the most?

AHXtreme42AHXtreme42 Unsigned
edited July 2009 in History of Rock
So, I've been involved with music for a while - either playing it or listening to it, and I guess I want to do a mini experiment on the RB.com forums, regarding the attraction of certain songs and how it varies with different people.

So, the question is:
What about a song captivates you the most?
What about a song catches your ear? What about a song will make you like it? I'll provide some options, as well as 'Other' if Other, speak for a bit about what exactly it is that grabs your attention! I tried hard to avoid "cop-out" answers like "a bit of everything" or "the music". Essentially, if multiple factors influence you (and this is probably the case for everyone) try to focus on what has the most weight in your decision process. Likewise, this treats all songs as equal. So options such as "artist loyalty" or "genre" aren't included. Here are the created options:

1.) The Intro - When you like a song, you know it from the start. It could be a cool intro, the first note or chord, or a great beat from a cool kit. When the song starts well, you know you're gonna like it.

2.) The End - The last note of a song is how people will remember your performance, a theory goes. If a song ends with style, it seals the deal for you and it makes it to your favorites.

3.) The Chorus - Love catchy songs? You can probably thank a great chorus for that. Since the chorus gets repeated multiple times in most cases, a great chorus will result in a catchy song that you're gonna love and remember for a long time.

4.) The Message - For you, a song isn't great unless it delivers a powerful message through its lyrics. When you truly 'listen' to the song, and hear and comprehend what someone is singing or rapping about, it can strike a chord with you and become a song you love.

5.) The Vocals - Not the same as the lyrics. With the voice, you might not care what someone is saying, but it's how they can sing! If a song has great instrument performance, but has a terrible singer - the song still isn't for you. Likewise, if a song has iffy instrument parts, but the singer can really belt out some fantastic stuff in a 2 part harmony, it still has potential to be one of your favorites!

6.) Advanced Musicality - Opposite of the lyrics. You might not even care what the message is. You also might not care if there are vocals at all! But if a group or artist can showoff their advanced musical talents. Crazy guitar solos, advanced drum patterns in 7/8 or 5/4, use of dissonance and resolution, accelerandos, decrescendos. The more musical terms used, and less "mainstream" a song is, the more you like it. Think along the lines of Progressive Rock bands like Rush, Yes, Liquid Tension Experiment/Dream Theater, etc.

7.) The Beat - The bassist and drummer are the glue that holds a band together. When applied to other genres, a beat created by a drum kit, turntable, or composing software is the foundation of a song. If the beat rocks, the song rocks. Catch yourself saying "this beat is SICK!"? This might be the option for you!

8.) Popularity - Although not itself a musical element, a songs popularity does in fact have weight on people. Songs you know by heart, that you can sing to in the car easily, that get played at parties or clubs all the time. The "hot" songs, those are the ones you like. You combine the social elements of popularity with the musical elements of a song to determine if it's hot, or not.

9.) Other - Have something different than what's listed? Make a post and tell us what!


So fill out your vote, and feel free to discuss your reasoning and some examples! Enjoy!


  • MrFruitLordMrFruitLord Headliner
    edited July 2009
    Everything save Number 8.
  • RunesmithRunesmith Headliner
    edited July 2009
    Interesting songwriting.

    Everything else is secondary.
  • thedoorsdkthedoorsdk Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    I enjoy different things from different bands, so it's hard to pick just one or two from that category. I guess as long as a band does a few of those things really well I'll be interested in them.
    For example, I really don't care what the 'message' in a Yes song is. More important to me in Yes' work is the instrumentation and the vocals (the lyrics come into this, since they're written and sung more for the sound than the actual meaning). And come to think of it, just about every Yes song has an amazing intro and ending.
    When I'm listening to Rush I'm a little more concerned with the message, a little less so about the vocals, and about the same in instrumentation. I also tend to pay more attention to the choruses and the beat, though I feel that fits in more with instrumentation.
    For a more song-focused band like, say, Drive-By Truckers, I'm mostly focusing on the 'message' or story of the lyrics. How these lyrics are sung is important, but honesty and feeling is more important than technical quality (same with instrumentation).

    That was a very long-winded way of saying: It depends.
  • neckermanncjneckermanncj Washed Up
    edited July 2009
    MrFruitLord;2672534 said:
    Everything save Number 8.
  • EvilbottomEvilbottom Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    I voted for The Intro just because some of my favorite songs have really catchy and memorable riffs for the intro, but beyond that it does matter about pretty much a combination of everything, minus the popularity.
  • synthesizedpianosynthesizedpiano Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    Musicality is a big part of it for me, but I care more if a song is unique or interesting and complex. Lyrics and Popularity never affect me though, because I don't pay attention to lyrics.
  • afterstasisafterstasis Washed Up
    edited July 2009
    songwriting, atmosphere, originality, and emotional resonance.
  • Oscar-RioOscar-Rio 0/10
    edited July 2009
    atmosphere, uniqueness, originality and emotion.
  • Fragory123Fragory123 Rising Star
    edited July 2009
    It's usually the emotion expressed through the music for me. Although, skilled instrumentation always plays a big part,
  • Teh_JakesterTeh_Jakester Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    I really only pay attention to the guitar and/or vocals, unless the other parts really stand out (i.e. keyboards in Permanent, drums in Hot for Teacher, etc.).
    Edit: Or I'm making a Rock Band list.
  • cherokeesamcherokeesam Washed Up
    edited July 2009
    Interesting question, and damned hard to answer.

    I don't necessarily vote yea or nay over just the intro, because I know full well that many songs are multi-part and don't start "getting good" until later in the song....but any good song definitely needs a hook to start you off.

    In retrospect, I'd say it's the riff and the melody that's most important to keep me listening; after that, I definitely look for damn good lyrics (if I can't hear/understand the lyrics, it's a major turn-off for me --- that's one reason I can't stand Cookie Monster death metal vocals).

    And yeah, popularity has no effect whatsoever on what I listen to.
  • LolicatLolicat Road Warrior
    edited July 2009
    A good vocalist or good lyrics can make it, but when I say 'good vocalist,' I don't want some warbling idiot, just someone with a good voice I personally enjoy hearing.
  • maidenermaidener Opening Act
    edited July 2009
    other : pure power of the song
  • AHXtreme42AHXtreme42 Unsigned
    edited July 2009
    Interesting responses.

    Yeah, it is a tough question to answer. I still see many people went with the cop-out answer :-P (for example, some others used Songwriting as 'other' - well, songwriting IS the Intro, the Ending, the Chorus, the Message and the Beat...so, yeah)
    But I predicted it in the original post. It seems very unnatural to have to chose a top factor over all of them, because like I said, many things influence you to like a song or not, so it's very very hard to choose the top one for you.

    Personally, I went with Advanced Musicality. When a band can demonstrate that they have some musical knowledge, and go beyond what many bands do, that song has a higher chance of being a favorite of mine. Sure if a song's chorus is good I can like it, but more other factors need to be in it's favor as well. Advanced musicality can cover things like smart instrumentation as well.

    Anyways keep it up, try real hard to pin it down to one, because we all have many factors which influence us, but try to pick your favorite!
Sign In or Register to comment.