The combination of an artist’s melody and the pop (aim for radio airplay and/or radio friendly) pureness are directly proportional to The Cheesiness Factor.
For example, an artist that creates pure pop and has no melody because of the obvious attempt of his/her/their aim. Likewise, a band like the former Jesus and Mary Chain could almost be ‘unlistenable’, but underneath all the sonic distortions (especially in ‘Psychocandy’), but underneath are very melodious pop songs.
Pure cheese is unapologetic pop with the catchiest melodies.
I (for one) am a waxed cheese nut. I like music with great melodies, but add textures to somewhat conceal this gift.
Determining the degree of melody for a song is very subjective so The Cheesiness Factor is different for everyone. Most songs feature an attempt at melody. However, many of those do not have (in my opinion) a good melody.
All bands that I have heard are some form of at least waxed cheese. There are certain levels of waxed cheese.
Transparent Wax (slightly masked or quirky cheese):
Apples In Stereo
Belle and Sebastian
The Divine Comedy
Dave Matthews Band
Complete albums from new wave acts (Human League, ABC, Thompson Twins and etc…)
Anything dream pop
Hammer (one-off Death Row record)
Van Halen (David Lee Roth led)
Madonna (during her sleaze period)
Translucent (Somewhat concealed melodies from performers that may or may not aiming for the radio)
A. Sonic Concealers and/or Offer Unorthodox Arrangements
Jesus and Mary Chain
Early Sugar Cubes
B. Lyrical Content Concealers (lyrics that intend turn people away)
Early Ice Cube
David Allen Coe
Terminator X (solo)
Insane Clown Posse
Opaque (I believe there is a melody)
There is a cheesiness factor to everything. Someday, I will likely make a chart for The Cheesiness Factor.
My favorites tend to be Transparent Waxed Cheese and Translucent A.
This is meant to be a partial list.