There’s a fascinating article over at The New Yorker about the process behind writing Rhianna‘s smash hits.
It seems deceptively simple: “You’ve got to have a hook in the intro, a hook in the pre-chorus, a hook in the chorus, and a hook in the bridge.”
So that’s why Rhianna’s songs get lodged in your head for days at a time: she has more hooks than a fly fisherman’s bait box.
It does raise the question: if the key to success is so simple, why aren’t more people cramming their songs with hooky melodies, providing an itch that listeners just cant help but scratch?
Let’s investigate, using Ghost Loft‘s Blow as a guinea-pig: where is the hook, and does it draw you in for a second listen?
Yes, yes, this is an unfair comparison: how can you compare determinedly ultra low-tempo sex-music with a raunchy pop princess’ bump ‘n’ grind pop?
Well – just listen harder: those all important hooks are here, too – just spread out a little further and played out a little slower, in a song that is intoxicating and woozy.
From the tweaked female ‘mmm-mmm‘ samples to the groaning, slurring organ sounds, those little audio niblets are there, tempting us all to bite.
Ghost Loft may not score acres of international radio play, but that’s hardly the point: a bunch of you clicked ‘play’ again when the song finished, and that’s achievement enough.