The first time I heard Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy,” I loathed it, like wouldn’t-get-through-30-seconds-before-I-changed-the-station loathed it. But here I am in August, a few months after the song’s release, and I find that while I still truly do not enjoy the song, my resolve to burn it out of my mind and all existence has weakened, and I no longer feel the overwhelming need to leap out a third-story window if it suddenly comes on while out with friends.
As it turns out, there’s a real, neurological reason for my surrender, and it’s one the music industry uses to its full advantage — think of it like Stockholm Syndrome, but auditory — and the kidnapper with whom you slowly grow to sympathize is Katy Perry’s latest auto-tuned nightmare.
The phenomenon was revealed in an fMRI study, which suggested that repeated exposure to a song is actually a more effective means of winning the hearts of the public than writing a song that they might actually like. This is because the emotional centers of the brain are more active when a person hears a song he or she has heard previously than when hearing an unfamiliar song that better suits the person’s musical taste. It seems our brains confuse the ability to recognize and remember a song with actually enjoying it. Read more