Music Genres With the Most Intelligent Lyrics

The Top Ten
1 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. ...read more.

First I thought that that heavy metal is all about hard instrumentals, extreme rhythm but the day when I listened to a heavy metal song with lyrics I was just blown up by lyrics it was so truth it tells about the dark nature of todays society

"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).

Every single heavy metal song is about dying. No intelligence about it at all.

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

2 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.

Not ALL artists. There are many prog artists with excellent lyrics, and then sometimes they just try too hard. Thick as a Brick, Dogs, and Time, for example, are songs with brilliant lyrics, but in songs such as Tarkus, for example, I feel that it's not very sincere, or maybe trying too hard? I would say that some prog lyrics sometimes lack real substance behind their crypto-poetic nature. I know it's a very unpopular opinion, please don't kill me, I love progressive rock. I just sometimes have the impression that some lyricists jsut write something plainly cryptic and people will try to interpret it and call it a piece of genius.

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.'

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

3 Progressive Metal

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.

Listen to tool

4 Rap

I only gotta quote Public Enemy's lyrics in "Fight the Power". If this isn't some intelligence in music, I gotta go back to school.
To revolutionize make a change nothing's strange
People, people we are the same
No we're not the same
'Cause we don't know the game
What we need is awareness, we can't get careless
You say what is this?
My beloved let's get down to business
Mental self-defensive fitness

Rap is definitely the genre with the best and intelligent lyrics. Due to the increased speed, tons of lyrics and themes can be fit into a single song. Even though filler lyrics are present, the whole hip hop genre can easily surpass other musical genres in terms of the lyrics.

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.

Kudos to rappers : It's not easy to do. Prog lyrics (and I love prog lyrics) have wide possibilities. Since they don't hold the song together, they don't have to be perfectly rythmical and in the same meter. Plus, most songs have only a few short verses.
In rap, verses are long and lines have to be held together by cohesive elements of assonance and alliteration. Or else, it's weak, it doesn't hold. This puts a lot of constraint, yet pushing creativity : rap is the definition of a lyrical genre.

5 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.

6 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.

Remember Kurt saying, "wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are." We need more of this in music.

7 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).

8 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.

To be honest, the reason you don't know what they are saying half the time, is because the lyrics are not in English.

Very underrated but opera rock should be here too.

9 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.

Yes it is the music of intelligence and peace.

10 Conscious Hip Hop

We need To Pack more Changes cause,
"I got love for my brother, but we can never go nowhere
Unless we share with each other
We gotta start makin' changes
Learn to see me as a brother instead of two distant strangers"

Needs to be number 1.

The Contenders
11 Neo-Soul
12 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. ...read more.

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.

"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)

Slayer skeletons of society. "Minutes seem like days since fires ruled the sky the rich became the beggars and the fools became the wise. Memories linger in my brain from burning in the acid rain of pain I never have won" that is so true. Reply if u agree

13 R&B
14 Folk
15 Nu Metal

If "Every step that I take is another mistake to you," "I can't feel you there," cause I'm resting at Lincoln Park.

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

16 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 ...read more.

Definitely one of the most lyrical genre. Just listen to the Dead Kennedys or Bad Religion.
Most artists in this genre say : "We just wanted to uplift the lyrics in music. Talking about what was happening in the real world."
I remember a guy from a famous anarcho-punk band saying (something along the lines of) : "Venom was even singing about Satan! I don't wake up in the morning and see Satan. I hear about wars, famines, disease, corruption..."

Most of the time, punk is a political statement. That's the whole point of the genre. Expressing one's own thoughts on subjects instead of mindlessly agreeing with the popular opinion.

Anybody who knows anything about music should know #20 is way too low for punk. Absurdly ridiculous.

17 Grunge Grunge (sometimes referred to as the Seattle sound) is a subgenre of alternative rock and a subculture that emerged during the mid-1980s.
18 Reggae

I can't argue with Bob Marley that "None but ourselves can free our minds."

19 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.

If you think I am wrong, you should be Led by "Wholle Lotta Love" back to schooling.

What are all these greater genres doing behind rap?

20 Country

If you deny this, you probably don't know what the cards are by reading your opponent's face. Ask Kenny Rogers.

Only classic country not modern.

Country, not country pop

21 Gospel

For God fearing people's choice.

22 Post-grunge
23 Art Rock

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

24 Melodic Death Metal

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

25 Folk Rock
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