Growing up, I definitely paid more attention to melody. The instrumentation, not the words, was what drew me to specific groups. I was more interested in drum or organ solos than the poetry. Let's just say Dylan wasn't my favorite at the time. Heck, before I met my wife, my main listening stack was full mostly of ambient techno like Autechre and Future Sound of London.
Now, thanks largely to my wife, I'm more interested in the words. More aware at least. I understand why my neices listen to the same song over and over, trying to memorize the words.
Carole King seems to me, though I don't listen to her much, to be a good example of an artist skilled at writing both melodies and lyrics. The importance and popularity of "Tapestry" is certainly a testament to that.
What do you pay more attention to when you listen to music?
ON CONSIGNMENT - Carole King 07/08/08