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Insight of the Day: Music Lyrics Have Gotten Simpler, Angrier And More Repetitive Since The 1980s, Study Finds

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, which compared 12,000 English-language songs from various genres spanning from 1980 to 2020, several trends in music lyrics have emerged:

1. Increased Repetitiveness: Songs have become more repetitive over the years, leading to less elaborate compositions and simpler lyrics. This trend is attributed to more people listening to music as background noise while engaging in other activities.

2. Angrier Lyrics: Across all genres analyzed (rap, pop, country, rock, and R&B), there has been an increase in the use of anger-related words in song lyrics. This suggests a trend towards more personal and emotional expression in music over time.

3. Preference for Older Rock and Newer Country Lyrics: The study found that lyrics from older rock songs tend to be viewed more by listeners, while lyrics from newer country songs are more popular. This suggests that listeners may prefer the lyrical content of older rock songs and newer country songs.

4. Genre-Specific Differences in Lyric Preference: Rap listeners showed the highest interest in song lyrics, followed by R&B listeners. However, the study suggests that lyrics may not be as meaningful in assessing the development of certain genres.

These findings contribute to the ongoing discussion about the evolution of music and its lyrical content over time, with implications for both artists and listeners.

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