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Hooks All The Way Down

Discussion in 'Music Forum' started by Marx&Recreation, Jun 18, 2019.

  1. Marx&Recreation


    I’m interested in making a little playlist of what are, essentially, perfect pop songs.

    “But M&R, what’s a perfect pop song???”

    Well, this will almost definitely seem reductive to some, but to me a pop song stands above the rest as a pop song when every part of it is a hook. That is to say, the entirety of the song is memorable, to such an extent that randomly playing any line of it will conjure it up in your mind. Additionally, it's not simply that there's one continuous hook that plays through all or most of the song, but that each part of the song is distinct and stands out in its own way.

    In contrast, there are so many pop songs, including plenty big hits, where the chorus carries the entire song. Sometimes that’s an intentional structuring of the song, as obviously artists don't *need* to try to make sure every single part a hook, but occasionally it will feel more like the rest of the song seems to exist solely to fill the spaces in between the one actually memorable part. Or at the very least, when listening to it I find myself just waiting for it to move on.

    Naturally, pop songs that go above and beyond in this regard (in my opinion) are very often huge hits that permeate the popular culture for years if not decades. At least, that’s been true of the songs that have come to my mind so far. A few examples to give you an idea of where I'm coming from:

    •Queen / Bowie - “Under Pressure”
    •OutKast - “Hey Ya”
    •Michael Jackson - “Billie Jean” and “Don’t Stop Till You Get Enough”
    •Earth, Wind and Fire - “September”
    •Beyoncé - “Single Ladies”
    •Journey - “Don’t Stop Believin”
    •Mark Ronson & Bruno Mars - “Uptown Funk”
    •Dexys Midnight Runners - "Hello Eileen"
    •a-ha - "Take On Me"

    Now I’m not saying you have to *like* these songs or anything, as I’m sure plenty of people have heard DSB or Uptown Funk more times than they had hoped to hear in a lifetime. But I’m arguing that it’s undeniable that every damn part of them is distinct and memorable.

    Additionally, as you can see from my list, I don't consider it limited to any particular genre.

    So...what you got