Gen Z Pays Attention To Beats Rather Than Lyrics


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By Lila Esquivel, Editor

   Many artists use songwriting as a form of telling something important within their lives. There are certain lines like “I love you like a fat kid loves cake” by 50 Cent” that shows emotions as a reference to grab listeners’ attention. When judging a song based on first impressions, I personally look for how it’s done, meaning the lyrics, singing, and instruments. I believe this is music’s greatest formula to make a song.  

   Singer-songwriters like Taylor Swift have many great songs. One of my favorite albums Folklore tells stories with themes of loss, love, regret, death, rage, and growth. For instance, a track on the song “Cardigan” starts with imagery of a young woman in the song haunted by the memory of her first love.  

   Another example, “All too well-10-minute version (Taylor’s Version)” shows a poetic way of describing an unforeseen heartbreak. Describing Taylor’s feelings during her breakup with Jake Gyllenhaal when she was young, this breakup caused deep emotions. I was able to feel what she went through by the lyrics.  

    Solange, who wrote “Cranes In the Sky”, talks about avoiding painful feelings and having your defense up. The lyrics are an amazing example of how to verbalize what you go through when experiencing an existential crisis. 

   However, some songs you hear today don’t have that much meaning because Gen Z only cares about the beat of the music. According to the article “Why do lyrics matter” posted on the website for NRG Recording Studios, “Music on its own carries a certain amount of emotional weight, but the lyrical content of any song should surround you with emotional details. The lyrics written today lack the weight that they used to carry. Songwriters in the past would open their life by telling a story about love, struggle, and you could feel the emotion behind the lyrics.” 

    To me, songwriters lack the weight they used to carry. Songwriters in the past would open their life by telling a story about love or struggle and you could feel the emotion behind the lyrics. Janet Jackson has written countless hits addressing racism, addiction, and poverty in songs like “State of the World” and “The Knowledge”. 

  Most of the time people think slower songs put them in a sad mood, but that’s not always the case. If you listen closely to the song, it may change your perspective. An artist putting feelings down in a song can be an emotional experience for them. But these types of songs can help people who may be dealing with similar things. The ability to relate to a song is important, not just relying on the beat of a song to judge it. Sure, there are fast uplifting songs that tell a story, but I think slower songs can break down the artist’s feelings more clearly.  

Songwriters whose lyrics have meaning for me  

  • 2Pac 

  • Notorious B.I.G 

  • Kendrick Lamar 

  • The Doors 

  • Pink Floyd 

  • Taylor Swift