Unique: if it sounds like all the other songs, I get bored.
Melody: I could care less about lyrics. If they happen to be good, great. If they are offensive, they'll nix an otherwise catchy candidate. These melodies sseduce their way into your inner dialog. They may be instant, quickly accessible favorites, or they may sound strange at first and when your mind/ear synapses get a few exposures, they'll grow to love 'em.
Examples: Almost anything by Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Paul McCartney. Most of the Ziggy Stardust album by David Bowie. The first two Seals and Crofts albums (none of which were played on the radio). Most of the "99 Luftballoons" album by Nena. Some of Lorraine Feather's songs. Hardly any country or rap. Some of the pre-slut Nelly Furtado. "The Ketchup Song" by Las Ketchup. Some Lilly Allen.
Here are some of my favorites that you may not have heard, but should, starting with my...
= Latest discovery =
Tegan and Sara
I Know, I Know, I Know
Where Does the Good Go?
And Darling (This Thing That Breaks My Heart)