Well yes. At least according to a report in the Times about research by Musixmatch, an online lyrics catalogue, which it said had found that heavy metal music came second only to hip-hop in its use of different words.
It said the researchers looked at songs sung by the 50 most searched-for online in 8 musical genres.
Heavy metal artists such as Metallica have an average vocabulary of 1,533 words. Second only to Hip-hop artists who had an average vocabulary of 1,963 words (how many ways can they talk abut themselves?).
Electronic music came bottom of the list with artists such as Daft Punk using only 852 different words on average. Hardly surprising given that this genre largely comprises repetitive instrumental phrases.
Pop musicians like to introduce new words in their songs but still have 30% smaller vocabularies than their heavy metal counterparts and this genre ranks 7th out of 8 with an average total of 1,188 words.
So far so interesting but I wanted to know more and so looked up the original study and found that the research, carried out by Varun Jewalikar, actually looked at 25 genres and 99 artists.
However 6 of the best-selling artists (The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Def Leppard , The Doors, Chicago and Journey) don’t allow Musixmatch to use their lyrics so were excluded from the study
Rappers were top of the list, headed by Eminem, but in second place was Bob Dylan who uses a new word after writing 9 words.
But next came the multi-lingual singers such as Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan. Perhaps not surprising when you think about it.
Top selling artists didn’t necessarily have the largest vocabularies e.g. The Beatles, or Elvis Presley but that didn’t stop them getting the message across.
So where did heavy metal actually come in the list? Well they were 7th and smooth jazz actually came bottom. But see for yourself here
Some genres only have a small sample and the results are open for discussion but it was an interesting idea. However Zachary Spiro wasn’t totally accurate in his Times article. He must be a heavy metal fan.