I love to play guitar, write songs, and sing. But I'd be the first one to tell you that I'm melody deficient. When it comes to that ever important phrase, I'm just one beat off. Get it? Did you laugh? Whatever.
Creating the perfect melody is an art. Some hear them right away, and for others it takes work. I'd love to ask the rough and tough Gwen Stefani just how she does it? The first single off of No Doubt's new album contains an addicting chunk of song that I love to sing, and she has created these parts for what seems like an eternity. Now in this song, it's the hook that has me by the balls:
But you can see it my eyes, you can read on my lips/I'm trying to get a hold on this
And I really mean it this time/And you know it's such a trip
Don't get me started/I'm trying to get a hold on this
The reason why the chorus works so extraordinary well, is due in part to how the song structure is built. Climax is reached through several different melody parts, so that when you finally get to the "Trying to get a hold on this..." part, you are beguiled. The payoff is a glorious moment in pop music. The listener takes ownership of the emotion. Not sure what to do, you sing out. Out loud! Out of key, and out of sheer pleasure.
Her angst shines through and draws you in. You're invited to sing along and you do. Thanks in part to a great melody. Gwen's personality is endearing and it doesn't hurt that she's gorgeous! But her melodies are even prettier. They don't happen by accident. They are worked on over and over and birthed out of trial and error. This is one beautiful mistake, and just one example of her talent for song.