First Hit #1: August 2, 1980
I find Magic to be extremely disorienting. It’s because you have expectations of how a song goes, especially disco ballads on the soundtrack to an Olivia Newton-John vehicle. But Magic is constantly subverting them in slightly unsettling ways. You expect her to go high, she goes low. You expect a song to build, it diminishes. This is one of those cases where I wish I knew more about music theory, because there are some very deliberate choices with the notes being played that I can feel but am unable to describe completely. It keeps hitting those eerie notes and continues on a slightly off kilter and unpleasant direction.
It’s a daring choice for a pop song, and I applaud it for being almost uncompromising in that respect, but it is also not the most appealing song in the world either.