Which doesn't mean I didn't listen to any popular music whatsoever. I did. It was just very fragmentary, and didn't consist of whole albums. The works that generate entries on this list.
I can report, for example, that my occasional total obsession with the Tori Amos B-side 'Honey' resurfaced. That opening (and recurring) bass line is one of the most persistent ear-worms that I know. It can lodge in my head for days at a time.
And then there's this song from Glee...
Yes, I have, gradually, become a Gleek. The show is awfully hit-and-miss, but sometimes the 'hits' send shivers up my spine.
And it's also true that usually when I go and compare a Glee version to the original, I can see in hindsight how the Glee version has become too smooth and sugary and is lacking a little life underneath the surface. But THIS time, when I went to listen to the original again, I concluded that Glee had unearthed an incredibly beautiful and clever melody and rescued it from the excessive production that had originally drowned it.
The song, by the way, is called "Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself)". The original version is by Ne-Yo.
The reason I keep returning to this song over and over is that melody, specifically in the verses. It's ingenious. It's a syncopated rhythm that is so simple, and yet so effective in the way that it steps up and down, avoiding the beat most of the time. It's exactly the kind of construction of music from the smallest building blocks that delights me.