Song content is nearly always more important than the way it is recorded.
It’s not an either / or, but as they say in all studios ‘you can’t polish a turd’. If the song’s content hasn’t got enough interest no matter how many sounds, embellishments, vocal tricks you throw in it won’t have the longevity you want.
Often it’s because the actual song content is over and done after the middle section.
Typical song structure: verse / bridge / chorus / verse 2 / bridge / chorus/ middle 8 / verse 3 / bridge / chorus x 2 (or to fade)
Notice that after the middle 8 the song is just a re-run of earlier elements. Of course, often with a different mood and a final over the top chorus, but that’s it.
And that’s not quite enough. Something else has to happen. Preferably a moment that emotionally encapsulates the song. Let’s think of a classic – end of Bridge Over Troubled Water… repeat of ‘I will ease your mind’ as the vocal soars to a new melody. Wonderfully complete. Imagine if he’d just sang the chorus a few more times and ended on the low at the end of the other choruses?
Key point – does the song have something you keep waiting for?
Caveat – it it’s only a 3 minute pop song the fact that it’s over so quickly might be OK… otherwise, you need the bit you keep waiting for.