In Tomek’s post on 12/13 , he mentioned that in his musical world instrumental music takes precedence as far as triggering responses to particular tunes.
I’m about equally balanced between/among the elements of a particular work, but too much instrumental (other than classical) begins to make my attention wander. I’m the opposite when it comes to Classical, Baroque, Romantic, etc. I really don’t care to hear Bach with words, and forget about opera altogether.
So for you it’s – lyrics primarily? vocalization? instrumentation? solo virtuoso playing? crazy rhythm? deft employment of Auto-Tune?
I have singers I like, but on average, for me a good instrumental can usually hit that sweet spot faster than most voices. My favorite Leo Kottke albums are the instrumentals, and it’s probably why I love John Fahey so much.