I like to think of myself as a lyrics guy — somebody who values the text of a song as much as the music. And I definitely gravitate toward songwriters who have a way with the written word — Elvis Costello and Bob Dylan come immediately to mind as favorite artists valued as much for their lyrics as their tunes.
On the other hand, I’m a huge R.E.M. fan who doesn’t know what the hell Michael Stipe is saying on half of their records and doesn’t care. It’s not as if I apply a litmus test to an artist that requires them to excel at both music and lyrics before I consider them a favorite.