Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?
I pay more attention to the phrasing, vocal inflection or vocal lines - basically the way the voice is being used, than I do to the actual lyrical content.
Obviously there are some artists whose lyrics are everything (The Dylan's et al) and there are others that you could spend a lifetime not knowing the words and you're missing nothing (The Chili Peppers' et al). So definitely some more than others, but for the most part I don't rely solely on "the words" to set the mood.....musicians have been doing a great job of creating mood for a hell of a long time now.
I've played in original bands where I haven't had a clue exactly what the lyrics were until we recorded and I could hear the playback clearly. I've never felt like I'm missing something for not knowing every word sung. Obviously I want to be involved enough to capture the vibe of the song, but much like I don't need to know every chord a guitarist is playing, I don't need to know every lyric either.