Yep, as Steve says, you have to hear it for your self.
It works with the minor scales as well... some of the modes of the harmonic minor for instance are very characteristic of certain styles of music... try this...
Take the Phrygian mode and sharpen the third (so it's major...).
r, b2, 3, 4, 5, b6, b7
(This is the fifth mode of the harmonic minor.)
Play around with it for a while... where does it take you?