Re: How much do lyrics matter to you?
I think you just hit the nail on the head there. I don't see any formula. There are definitely times when the words used are vitally important and other times when the general impression matters most. Again, that goes for both music and talking.
I think speed of thought and perception make a big difference. For example, my nephew will play me a hip hop thing and I barely understand a single line and he picks it all up.
I struggle with a lot of modern movies too (all that mumbling for the sake of realism - I needed subtitles for Marlon Brando's Colonel Kurtz role in Apocalypse Now) ... maybe part of it is I'm just not good at picking up mumbly Americanese, yet much of the art played here is from the US. Also, all those in-house references lose me too.