This is not a new observation. I recall in the early 90’s a Rolling Stone writer gave a tape with a selection of rock for an older music professor who had effectively never listened to rock.
Afterwards, he declared rock was a genre of timbre (tonal colour) - one of the songs was Hendrix’s Watchtower, a great example of timbre as focal point. Even the strong melodies of the rock age pale in comparison with orchestral pop of the 20’s to 50’s (Somewhere Over the Rainbow is a perfect example. That song is a masterpiece of melody and harmonic structure and can easily be sung solo voice).
Classical has since Stravinsky and Varesse moved away from melody. Henryk Gorecki’s Symphony no. 3 (1976) used melody only to serve the tonal colour. There’s none that one could actually hum along to.
Zappa even wrote anti-melodies. He loved to just write notes on a page (his words) and didn’t write melodies to stand on their own. Still they ended up being catchy in their own way despite being not the point of the tune.
The hook is indeed what many genres rely on now. Country, pop, EDM, hip hop and (arguably) bebop would all be dead if not for their hooks.
With movies, I suspect film makers may have moved to requesting less melody since it can actually pull your attention to the music rather than the drama. That’s debatable I suppose : it worked for Star Wars but some films had bizarre non sequiturs
Even if I did know absolutely everything, unlike science Jefe, I would still not like to be in an argument with Stephen Fry. The guy is super logical and hyper intelligent. Was fun to watch him destroy the church with ammo I would have been flinging at them too, though not nearly as eloquently or succinctly as Fry.
PS thanks to many of you guys I just watched quite a few of the vids you been posting some interesting stuff so thanks