Seatsmart study analysed lyrical content of 225 popular songs
Nickelback‘s lyrics are more intelligent than those of Foo Fighters and Linkin Park, a new study suggests.
The study, conducted by Andrew Powell-Morse of Seatsmart, analysed lyrics in 225 songs that had spent at least three weeks at Number One in Billboard’s pop, rock, country and hip-hop charts. His findings suggest that pop songs have the average reading level of an eight-year-old.
Elsewhere, the country charts apparently have the “smartest” lyrics, while R&B and hip-hop came below rock and pop.
Explaining his method, Powell-Morse conceded that “this data doesn’t touch on the meaning of a song, the metaphors, how the words connect with the artist’s personal story, etc. to create deeper meaning”.
He added that country was the only genre without words like “oh” and “yeah” dragging down the average, which takes into account factors such as the number of syllables, helping Red Hot Chili Peppers’ ‘Dani California’ top the rock listings. Three Days Grace’s 2010 hit ‘The Good Life’ had the lowest reading age, comprehensible to the average 3 1/2–year-old.
Read the full study here.