Because I’m basically a fifteen year old girl deep down inside, I recently spent a month or so re-watching – oh yes, re-watching – the first season of Glee. And you know what bothers me about that? It’s not that every episode has the same formula of proceedings (Sue Sylvester somehow finds a way to stop the Glee club, William Shuester manages to thwart her, a bunch of teenagers cry deeply about being misfits despite the fact they're all above average looking) or that all of those twenty-somethings-playing-children are auto-tuned to death. No no. It’s the wobbly singing of “sassy” (read: overweight) independent woman, Mercedes.
You know the type. The kind that Beyonce, Mariah Carey and Christina Aguilera are responsible for inflicting upon the world. The kind that every second rate twunt on the X-Factor (for instance, Alexandra Burke and Leona Lewis) depend on to disguise the fact that their music is so offensively dull that it makes me want to jab out my eyes with a spatula (I like a challenge).
Whatever happened to actually trying to stick to a tune? A great melody can succeed on its simplicity alone. To take a slightly dated but fairly relevant example, let's look at ABBA.
Okay, enough looking. My point is ABBA didn’t have any of that wobbly, warbling nonsense. They just had good and wholly engaging pop songs, laden with sugar-coated melodies that would captivate even the most hardened metal-head (i.e. people who can appreciate the intricate and meticulous musicality of bands like Pig Destroyer and Darkthrone). They know how to give the listener something to remember.