Music Genres With the Most Intelligent Lyrics


The Top Ten

1 Progressive Rock Progressive Rock Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s.

Especially lyricists like Neil Peart - Brobusky

Just go and have a look at Echoes by Pink Floyd or Starless by King Crimson. Bloody brilliant.

Pink Floyd, Genesis, Jethro Tull and many many more

All Have Produced Some Of The Greatest Lyrics Of All Time
All Prog Rock

Thick As A Brick By Jethro Tull

'The cattle quietly grazing at the grass down by the river
where the swelling mountain water moves onward to the sea:
the builder of the castles renews the age-old purpose
and contemplates the milking girl whose offer is his need.
The young men of the household have all gone into service
and are not to be expected for a year.
The innocent young master - thoughts moving ever faster -
has formed the plan to change the man he seems.
And the poet sheaths his pen while the soldier lifts his sword.
And the oldest of the family is moving with authority.
Coming from across the sea, he challenges the son who puts him to the run.'

2 Heavy Metal Heavy Metal Heavy Metal music is a sub-genre of rock music that originated in the late 1960s-70s, featuring more distorted and heavier instrumental work and darker lyrical themes. Heavy Metal broke into mainstream success with bands such as Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Metallica. more.

All metal genres have a band which takes lyrics to a high level. In heavy metal you have Iron Maiden, in thrash you have Metallica, in groove you have Lamb of God, in death metal you have Cannibal Corpse (yes cannibal corpse songs are all gory but they are well written and don't all seem the same) (Slayer also can be put in death metal as they are the pioneer of this genre even if they are thrash. I mean songs like angel of death or altar of sacrifice sounds more death than thrash.), in nu metal you have Slipknot (and maybe Limp Bizkit, no I'm kidding), in death grind it is Cattle Decapitation, in Deathcore it is Acrania, Whitechapel and Suicide Silence, in progressive death it is Gojira and Opeth, in progressive metal you have Dream Theatre and Tool, in post-hardcore it is Asking Alexandria and Bring Me The Horizon, in Metalcore it is As I Lay Dying and Killswitch Engage, and it goes on and on for the endless number of bands and genres that can summarized to heavy metal.

"We have the power make our lives what they are to be
Reconnect with our humanity
Transcend to a higher place, accepting reality
You are the key to the life that you seek"
(Iced Earth - Anthem). - Metal_Treasure

Iron man, Paranoid, Enter Sandman, Master of puppets...

It's a joke? Most of metal lyrics are mediocre or worse. - BruceStark

V 5 Comments
3 Rap

Don't knock this genre because of some of the idiots who represent it, because every genre has those. If you listen to rappers like Eminem, Kendrick Lamar, Tupac, J. Cole, etc, there is a lot of skill and meaning behind what they do and it's impressive. From the messages they try to send to fit in with what was happening in the world during that time to the deep stories of their personal life and the delivery they are able to paint the picture with, it's a brilliant form of music if done correctly. - DrNick

I remember you was conflicted
Misusing your influence, sometimes I did the same
Abusing my power full of resentment
Resentment that turned into a deep depression
Found myself screamin' in a hotel room
I didn't want to self-destruct
The evils of Lucy was all around me
So I went running for answers

-Kendrick Lamar - Mcgillacuddy

Aside from the studio gangsters rapping about perpetrating and promoting self-indulgence; once you dig deep into real rappers like Kendrick Lamar and Tupac who KNOWS what's really going on in their hellish ghetto and shed light to it. Not these bustas tainting rap as some kind of "degenerate" genre of music. - Bolshoy_Brat

Without a doubt the genre to come to if you want lyricism

V 19 Comments
4 Psychedelic Rock

Some of the best songwriters of all time made Psychedelic music such as Jimi Hendrix, Syd Barrett, John Lennon, Jack Bruce, Eric Clapton, Jim Morrison, Grace Slick, etc. - RogerWatersfan1999

5 Progressive Metal

I got 2 words for ya
TOOL! - Iamchewbacca37

Listen and read the lyrics for bands like opeth and try and comprehend some of them you'll find it very difficult the lyrics are intelligently written. This song black rose immortal for instance and anything else in their discography.

6 Blues Blues Blues is a music genre and musical form originated by African Americans in the Deep South of the United States around the end of the 19th century.

In the words of Bluesman Albert Cummings: "Oh well now some people say that the Blues makes you feel sad, hah! Best damn feelin' I musta ever had; I said the Blues makes me feel so good."

You really don't need big words or have a degree in psychology or philosophy to be this clued-up; you just need to know what you're talking about. This man sums up things pretty well, methinks. - Britgirl

7 Opera

To be very honest, I don't know what they're saying half the time in the songs, but I know that the songs do have good life meanings to them. I did see one opera show back when I was like 15. Thought I was going to hate it but it actually made me cry because of the ending. - Mcgillacuddy

Very underrated but opera rock should be here too.

8 Power Metal

Most of the power metal lyrics are also close to poetry:

"Just hand me my harp, this night turns into myth
Nothing seems real, you soon will feel
The world we live in is another skalds
Dream in the shadows".
(Blind Guardian - Skalds And Shadows). - Metal_Treasure

9 Conscious Hip Hop
10 Art Rock

Radiohead : A hear that filled up like a landfill
bruises that won't heal

Pink Floyd:Time (The dark side of the moon)
The sun is the same in the relative way but you're older
shorter of breath, and one day closer to death - waldo

The Contenders

11 Country

Only classic country not modern.

12 Neo-Soul
13 Alternative Rock Alternative Rock Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music.
14 Thrash Metal Thrash Metal Thrash Metal is a Heavy Metal subgenre developed during the early 1980s and an early precursor of Extreme Metal. Thrash Metal features a faster and more aggressive guitar work than Traditional Metal with shredding and double-bass drums and can range from melodic singing to loud shouts. more.

"Brother will kill brother
Spilling blood across the land
Killing for religion
Something I don't understand

Fools like me who cross the sea
And come to foreign lands
Ask the sheep for their beliefs
Do you kill on God's command?

A country that's divided
Surely will not stand". (Megadeth - Holy Wars) - Metal_Treasure

Damn,I'm stupid
I should have vote for that - Idiot244

Slayer has some very complicated lyrics like World Painted Blood. Also many of their songs are about intelligent topics like history, religion and mythology. And Slayer isn’t the only thrash metal band with intelligent lyrics. Other examples are Metallica’s Sad But True/Master of Puppets and Megadeth’s Symphony of Destruction/Holy Wars...The Punishment Due.

15 Grunge Grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock and a subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s.
16 R&B
17 Nu Metal

This makes more sense then rap metal, they are completely different.

18 Folk
19 Folk Rock
20 Reggae
21 Alternative Alternative Alternative rock is a style of rock music that emerged from the independent music underground of the 1980s and became widely popular in the 1990s. In this instance, the word "alternative" refers to the genre's distinction from mainstream rock music.
22 Jazz Jazz
23 Gospel

For God fearing people's choice.

24 Melodic Death Metal

You can't really understand most of them so it's kinda pointless (at least in my opinion).

25 Blues Rock Blues Rock Blues rock is a fusion genre combining elements of blues and rock. It is mostly an electric ensemble-style music with instrumentation similar to electric blues and rock: electric guitar, electric bass, and drums, often with Hammond organ.

What are all these greater genres doing behind rap?

26 Country Rock
27 Punk Rock Punk Rock Punk rock is a subgenre of rock music. It usually has rebellious lyrics and down stroked power chords played on guitars. Bad Religion, Sex Pistols, and Green Day (actually pop-punk, which is still punk in a way) are a few punk rock bands. The subgenre influenced thrash metal because of it's down stroked more.
28 Indie Rock
29 Black Metal
30 Rock N' Roll Rock N' Roll Rock music is a music genre that was created in the 1950s. The genre got popular during the 60s, 70s and 80s. Rock bands generally consists of a guitar player, a drummer, bass player and singer. There are a lot of rock subgenres.
31 Hip-Hop

I only like beastie boys that is why I put this on here.

32 Indie Pop

I love indie pop! Emotionally, well crafted songs.

Can we get an amen? - moonwolf

33 Trance
34 Disco
35 Metalcore
36 Pop Punk
37 Reggaeton
38 Folk Metal Folk Metal Folk metal is a fusion genre of heavy metal music and traditional folk music that developed in Europe during the 1990s.
39 Wizard Rock
40 Crunkcore
41 Post-grunge
42 Speed Metal
43 Pirate Metal
44 Viking Metal
45 Punk Metal
46 Pop
47 New Wave
BAdd New Item

Related Lists

Rock Bands With the Most Intelligent Lyrics Top 10 Music Genres Where Lyrics are Most Vital Top 10 Countries With the Most Intelligent People Most Intelligent Non-Human Animals on Earth Top Ten Most Intelligent Star Wars Characters

List Stats

300 votes
47 listings
2 years, 237 days old

Top Remixes (6)

1. Folk Rock
2. Indie Rock
3. Country
1. Rock N' Roll
2. Alternative Rock
3. Folk Rock
1. Heavy Metal
2. Progressive Metal
3. Progressive Rock

View All 6

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.