So I may or may not (100% definitely am) rewatching Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated (something to follow), and just got to the Hex Girls episode and have been listening to the new song they made for that episode non-stop since.
To back up, the Hex Girls are an in-universe Goth Rock band of three Wiccans. They made their first appearance in the made for TV/home release Scooby Doo and The Witch’s Ghost. They were a red herring as far as that mystery goes, but we’re an instantly iconic idea for the Scooby Doo Universe. They had solid child version of emo/goth music with good vocal and could release a whole album of songs from the movie.
The reappeared a couple times in the home release film Scooby Doo and The Legend of the Vampire (it’s about a rock concert in Australia), and then the show What’s New, Scooby Doo(?). Their biggest, and most important return was in Scooby Doo Mystery Incorporated. Other than being more fleshed out (like all the characters), they also created new songs for them to sing.
That is literally all to say that the Hex Girls made a giant impact on me (and probably my taste in music too). So them appearing always gets me hooked in the episode. Their first appearance in Mystery Inc sees them as the victims being terrorized by a musical phantom that wants them to stop their tour. It’s fun, and how they figure out his identity is funny. But that’s not important, what is important is the role they play in the Fred/Daphne relationship.
Their relationship until this episode had been one sided. Daphne has had feelings for Fred while Fred is completely (to a hyper comical degree) oblivious and only focused on making traps. During the episode Daphne is used as bait and kidnapped. She does escape, but not before mishearing Fred freak out that he lost her and says he needs to stop feeling. This causes Daphne to go full rocker and write a breakup song, Trap of Love.
It is bonkers that this song actually exists. It feels like a pop manufactured alternative metal/goth rock song from the time it came out, 2010. It has some really haunting piano and base that sound gothic, then some drums and a surprisingly good guitar riff. But what is more surprising is how well composed the whole instrumental part is. It feels big, got great cord progression and memorable beat, with just a hint of synthesizer and electronic influence like it was a Veronicas or Sick Puppies song.
That’s all good, but what actually is just like crazy is how the lyrics walk this super fine line between vapid, simplistic, and impactful. It is all about Daphne casting Freddy away. She starts by calling out how uncaring his heart imprisons and traps her in a cage, and how his eyes lie. These lies and uncaring tears her heart apart. In the chorus she sings about how the trap of love is snared through desire and want, and that same trap turns into a figurative fire and burns. The best line is how she can’t wait for him and must be released. It seems obvious, but think how “I can’t wait” can be used. It can mean that you want to get something, OR that you are done waiting. Daphne is really both in the scenario of the episode. She can’t wait for him to date her, and can’t wait for him to finally realize his feelings.
In the second verse she cries to be released and let her be, uncage her heart. She ends the song by saying to beware love.
Now, this is all really simplistic and straightforward. It makes really easy dissection material. What makes it work though is how earnest Grey DeLisle is in singing it. The fact she is tapping more into her Azula voice from Avatar The Last Airbender is annoying after the (I basically listened to it the whole hour I was at the gym, plus throughout the day. So a lot). Either way she makes those lines cut pretty well, and the pointed entendres about traps works.
The song works. Daphne and Fred get together and everything is great.
But all that interesting stuff isn’t why I like it. No, after the villain is unmasked and he goes through his motivation he says he wrote bad songs for the Hex Girls to sing on purpose, but they are so good they can turn them into a hit. This song was written so perfectly to be shallow and produced and sung so well that it proved his point.
Like how did that even work? How much of it was accident, and how much was planned? Isn’t that just really interesting.
Also, no wonder there is a ton of Rule 34 when the show dresses Daphne in this rock outfit, and just a purple bikini in an episode where a crab is attacking volleyball players (wait. Did that episode have the same plot as this one? I mean Scooby Doo is formulaic, but I’m pretty sure it had a too similar of a plot. Daphne gets kidnapped and Fred freaks out in that too. Strange).