Songs are getting angrier and more repetitive

Songs more repetitive since the 80’s Credit: Creative Common

A recent study has discovered that song lyrics have gotten angrier and more repetitive since the 1980s.

This trend spans across various music genres like rock, rap, country, pop, and R&B, as revealed in research published in the journal Scientific Reports. The study, conducted by Eva Zangerle and her team from the University of Innsbruck, Austria, analysed 12,000 English-language songs released between 1980 and 2020, along with their popularity on the online platform Genius.

According to the findings, rap songs exhibited the most significant increase in anger and negative emotions, while country songs showed the least. Zangerle suggests that the rise in anger-related words might mirror broader changes in society and culture.

The study also highlighted that lyrics have become simpler and more personal over time, making them easier to understand. Interestingly, there has been a decline in the variety of words used within songs, particularly noticeable in rap and rock music. The researchers speculate that this could be linked to shifts in how people consume music, with more songs being used as background music.

Music has transformed over the past 40 years

Zangerle noted the transformation in music consumption over the past 40 years, from purchasing records in stores to accessing vast libraries of songs on streaming platforms via smartphones. This change, she suggests, has influenced the way people engage with music.

Examining page views on Genius, the researchers found that older rock songs tended to attract more views compared to newer ones, whereas the opposite was true for country songs. This divergence suggests a preference among rock listeners for older song lyrics, while country music enthusiasts may favour newer compositions.

Zangerle illustrated the contrast between complex and simpler song writing with examples like Bruce Springsteen’s intricate 1973 track “Spirit In The Night” and Miley Cyrus’s repetitive 2019 hit “Slide Away.” These observations shed light on the evolving nature of song writing and audience preferences over the decades.

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Written by

Julian Phillips

Born in the UK, has lived in 9 countries, before finally coming to Spain in 2015. Currently living in Almeria and working out of the EWN office in Mojacar.


    • Bob Scratchit

      29 March 2024 • 15:52

      Maybe because Earth is getting increasingly ghetto to live on, given the globalist/world economic forum/eu/nato influence?

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