“The good news is that melody is back in pop music again,” Michael Bolton told Billboard magazine in a recent interview.
The blue-eyed soul singer-songwriter added: “There’s a lot of melody in music now – right across the board from hip-hop to country, and that’s where I’m the most comfortable. It’s made me roll up my sleeve and get on the phone to my manager and publishers and say ‘I feel like going on a writing run for the next few months’.”
As a result, said Bolton, he is planning to work with some of today’s biggest contemporary songwriters on a new album. He has already collaborated with Lady Gaga and Ne-Yo in recent years, but he won’t reveal the names of his new ‘crew’ just yet. However, he calls them “the new hot guns”.
As experienced songwriters know, no matter which music genre you’re writing for—whether it’s pop, rock, country, R&B or any other style—the melody line is second only to the title as the most important part of a song.
The late Robin Gibb once explained that the Bee Gees always made sure they had a great melody before they started writing the lyrics. “The principle is to let the melody dictate the flow of the lyrics,” he said.
After all, the melody is the first thing that listeners catch when they hear a song for the first time. If they like the tune, they’re more likely to want to start listening to the words. That’s why melodies need good hooks, and why a strong and memorable melody is the chief reason why most songs become successful.
As the great Irving Berlin once remarked: “It’s the lyric that makes a song a hit, but the tune is what makes it last.”
Do you agree with Michael Bolton that melody is back in pop music again? Or do you feel that melody never went away in the first place, especially in mainstream pop?
# # # #
“How [Not] To Write A Hit Song! – 101 Common Mistakes To Avoid If You Want Songwriting Success” is available from Amazon as a paperback, or as an eBook from Amazon’s Kindle Store, Apple’s iTunes Store (Books/Arts & Entertainment/Music) and Barnes & Noble’s Nook store.