Post by TheEscapist on Sept 2, 2019 16:55:30 GMT -5
Depends on the genre, to be honest, and even then you'll only be able to narrow it down to vague things like "good melody" or "non-trend-based instrumentals". I can give you some personal things that I enjoy more often than not, though:
- Combining pop songwriting with art-y influences. Think of Coldplay writing a pop ditty about the French Revolution over a baroque instrumental, The Beatles putting backwards guitars in their chart-toppers, or even tracks like Hey Ma by Bon Iver, which has "arty" sounds in it but bases it all around an ear-worm chorus. When something gets labelled "art-pop", I usually dig it.
- Rap songs that sample soul. From Kanye to Madlib to Big KRIT, rap producers who know how to flip a soul sample always get me as a fan. The contrast is what does it, I think - I was listening to Practice by Freddie Gibbs earlier, and I realised that no two genres mix quite as well as soul and hip-hop, in my opinion.
- Bridges! Although a lot of my favourite songs go straight from the verses to the chorus (Mr Tambourine Man, Violet Hill, Live Forever), I think a lot of 2019 pop could do with remembering how incredible a good bridge can be in setting up the hook. Noel used to be a master at this. The bridges on Stand By Me and All Around the World, for instance, are pure gold, and make the chorus hit twice as hard.
For me, I have to be able to connect to it in some way, like the tone of feel of the music (if it reflects how I might be feeling) or lyrics. Music allows me to connect with my emotions I suppose, when I’m otherwise maybe not very good at it.
I like how music works as a “book mark”, to quote Fran Healy, bringing you back to times or places or people you’d not thought about until you heard that music again. He wrote a song about that called Slide Show.