Simplified and Self-Centered: A Study on the Evolution of Song Lyrics in the Digital Age

Study finds that songs have become more straightforward and repetitive over the past four decades

A recent study published in Scientific Reports has revealed that song lyrics have become simpler, more repetitive, and more self-centered over the past four decades. The study analyzed over 12,000 English songs from various genres like rap, country, pop, R&B, and rock from 1990 to 2020.

Lead author Eva Zangerle, an expert in music recommendation systems at the University of Innsbruck, emphasized that lyrics act as a mirror of society and reflect cultural changes and trends. With the advent of the internet and streaming services, the music industry has undergone significant changes compared to previous decades when music was primarily consumed through vinyl and cassettes.

The study examined emotional expression, complexity of words, and repetition in lyrics across genres and found a trend towards simplification and repetition. Rap music was found to have a more prominent role in using repeated lines and expressing anger compared to other genres. Additionally, the study indicated a decline in positive and happy content in lyrics over time. The increasing use of first-person pronouns like “I” and “mine” suggests a more self-centric approach in songwriting.

Overall, the study indicates that songs with more repetitive choruses and basic lyrics tend to be more popular in the current music landscape. The changing trends in lyrics reflect the evolving music industry and society’s values and emotions.

Leave a Reply