Songwriters often ask: Is this song about the booty or the brain?
Booty songs are for dancing and brain songs are for thinking.
If it’s about the booty you need a beat and a melody that grab the audience and get them tapping their toes right away. Lyrics are only important in that they have a strong hook. The song is structured to make people dance. Everything else is secondary.
I Saw The Sign. The beat, the bass and the melodic hook…have you in their grips. It speeds through the first verse and jumps to the lyrical hook.
“I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes, I saw the sign”
It was manufactured to be a booty song.
Thinking songs are more about the lyrics. They are intended to paint a picture and cause an emotional reaction. The melody and arrangement play a supporting role in helping the song stir up intended feelings.
Hotel California. The open guitar riff transports you.
“On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair. Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air”
It’s magical, it’s mystical. It takes you there. What is Hotel California about? I. Need. To. Know.
The same approach is useful for creating social content.
Is the content meant to be entertaining? Or is it meant to be educational or thought provoking?
If it’s meant to be entertaining, then what’s your hook? How are you going to get people ‘tapping their toes’? How will you make them pay attention?
If it doesn’t happen in the first 6 six seconds you’ve failed.
If it’s meant to be educational, how are you going to keep your audience interested enough so they learn something? How can you spark emotion to keep them involved?
Both approaches are legitimate strategies. And sometimes you might want to combine approaches. The best educational content is wrapped in entertainment (infotainment).
Booty or brain? Its magic when it’s done right…