I was talking with Drew and he pointed out how sparse many pop music arrangements have become. Usher's "Yeah!: absolutely NOTHING in the mix - no snare - no bassline - no pads, Just a HUGE synth lead, kick drum and claps. Beyonce's tracks are like that too - Naughty Girl, Baby Boy... it's like a 4 minute intro. Seems to work though. Wanna know another famous song missing a bassline? When Doves Cry - Prince.
Somehow they do work and manage to create a full sound. One of the reasons the Fergie track Fergilicious works is the use of voice. Notice how many ways her voice is used, the number of backing vocal and call/response parts.
I've noticed that with great actors, you can turn the sound off and just watch or turn the picture off and just listen to. They usually have great/interesting voices (Walken, Brando, Pacino).
Freddie Mercury had a great instrument of a voice. "Another One Bites the Dust" is minimal in its arrangement but listen to the way Freddy plays his voice over it. Freddie was a god.