All musicians want to be “fresh,” unlike anyone else that came before. But few manage to win that label. Sometimes it can be a clever turn of words (Potential Break-Up Song by Aly & AJ) or a catchy sound (“Under my umbrella, ella, ella ella” in Umbrella by Rihanna) or shock value (If You Seek Amy, Britney Spears).
I think that the most usual way for songs to be unusual is an overall concept that hasn’t been explored. So What by Pink. My Humps by The Black Eyed Peas. We’ve simply never heard anything like it on mainstream radio before. I Do Not Hook Up is unique in that it identifies a new sexual trend which is the reality of today’s romantic involvement...no romantic involvement. Viva la Vida is one of those songs that you can listen to for hours and still not understand. Yet, it is unique enough lyrically that, mixed with a great tune, it made it through the mire to the top. More great concept songs: Do You Know How to Touch a Girl? JoJo, (I’m Not Gonna Write You a) Love Song Sara Bareilles, Message from your Heart Kira Grannis, 7Things (I Hate About You) Miley Cyrus and Wake Up Call Maroon 5.