Originally Posted by macro
You have covered most of my thoughts, so I'm not sure I can add much. But I will elaborate on your first point and agree that good songs are original. I cannot stand to hear a song that trots out the same tired lyrics (or sound) that have been beaten to death.
I generally agree, but there are degrees of original. Let's be honest, if you're trying to write a song about love or relationships, it's pretty much impossible not to trod on hard-packed lyrical ground. (Also known as the "just because I haven't heard it doesn't mean it hasn't been done" rule.) All I ask is that a song not immediately strike me as a ripoff of another one.
The same rule kind of applies regarding the non-vocals -- I don't require the genre to be re-invented, just don't rip off someone else's melodies or riffs.
I like rock and country and oldies and many one-off variations thereof. Don't much care for the typical pop of today, or hip-hop or rap, and on the country side there's only so much twang I like. I'm getting into more of what is loosely called "Americana." I also like stuff that has a breezy beach sound to it, which somehow survived my living in a beach town listening to every clown with a guitar singing Jimmy Buffett.
Bottom line, I listen to music that makes me feel better. If I don't like the sound or if the lyrics are too much of a downer, I'll pass.