The tracks on The Dissent of Man written by vocalist Greg Graffin are some of the most personal ones he's ever written. Bassist Jay Bentley told Billboard Magazine: "I think Greg wrote some really wonderful, personal lyrics here; a song like 'Avalon' really caught me off guard. It's in the comfort zone of Bad Religion, but it's beautiful, which is an adjective you wouldn't necessarily use to describe a quote-unquote punk rock band."
Taylor Swift's “Shake It Off” was inspired by how she'd learned to deal with all the false rumors that circulated about her. "The only thing we can control is our reaction to that ,” said Swift. "You can either let it get to you … [or] you just shake it off."
"It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" was inspired by a dream where Michael Stipe conjured up images of people with the initials L.B.: Lester Bangs, Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Leonard Bernstein.