January 10, 2011

Music Flavor Profile: MSG as the Hook

MSG as the Hook: An essential ingredient for a full-flavored song.

There's a reason you like Chinese take-out so much. After all, you've made meat and vegetable stir fy on your own plenty of times, but never crave that nearly as much. Why? MSG. It's an addictive chemical additive. And it makes you want to use your chopsticks again the next day.

Great songs all do that same thing - addict you. It's the hook that gets stuck in your head. It helps you learn the song, and feel like you know the song. And therefore, you want to hear it again.

There's probably no better master of the hook than the Fab 4. And it's not just a melodic lyric. You can hook with a guitar riff. You can hook with alliteration. And they did all of it - in just about every song, including "Paperback Writer" embedded above.

Lesson for the day: Don't forget the hook. If it's not getting stuck in your head, it won't get stuck in theirs.

1 comment:

Dianna said...

Excellent! I've enjoyed all the analogies, but I particularly like seeing the Beatles' hooks as MSG. Appropriate, because as much as a good hook can turn a great song into MAGIC, it can also disguise a mediocre song. Who doesn't regret that bloated "I know this is a terrible song, overall, but I can't get it out of my head!!!" feeling from too much bad musical MSG?

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