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All Posts Tagged Dance-Pop

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Shape of You (Ed Sheeran) | Sounds Like | Cheap Thrills (Sia)

Shape of You by Ed Sheeran Cheap Thrills by Sia

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Additional notes/observations: 

The intro to Ed Sheeran's Shape of You (released January 6, 2017) is very similar to the intro to Sia's Cheap Thrills (released February 11, 2016). Both feature a marimba-sounding synth playing staccato quarter note triplets for each chord. In terms of chord structure, Shape of You (in the key of E) follows a vi-ii-IV-V (or minor 6, minor 2, 4, 5) progression, while Cheap Thrills (in the key of A) follows a vi-IV-I-V (or minor 6, 4, 1, 5) progression. Shape of You is also slightly reminiscent of TLC's No Scrubs (released January 23, 1999), which is in the key of B (really G# harmonic minor), and follows a ii-vi-V/vi-vi (or minor 2, minor 6, dominant chord of the 6, minor 6). In particular, the scansion of the verse vocal melody is similar. [h/t to A. Zucker for suggesting this one!]

Shape of You (:00) VS Cheap Thrills (:00)


Honorable mention:
Shape of You (:10) VS No Scrubs (TLC) (:18)



City of Stars (La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) | Sounds Like | Moves like Jagger (Maroon 5)

City of Stars by La La Land Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Moves like Jagger by Maroon 5

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Additional notes/observations: 

Elements of the song City of Stars (released August 31, 2016 and performed by Ryan Gosling in the film La La Land), are reminiscent of Maroon 5's Moves like Jagger (released June 21, 2011), Chris Isaak's Wicked Game (featured in the film Wild at Heart; released November 8, 1990), and Peter and Gordon's A World Without Love (penned by Sir Paul McCartney and released February 28, 1964). While City of Stars is in the key of A/F#min and Moves like Jagger is in D/Bmin, the first line of both verse melodies ("City of stars [...]" vs "[...] shoot for the stars [...]") are played over a B minor chord and feature the same sequence of diatonic notes with three short notes (B-C#-D, or 2-3-4) followed by a fourth sustained one (F#, or 6) on an identical word, and a whistled intro variation over B minor. Likewise, Chris Isaak's Wicked Game, which is in the same exact key as City of Stars, features these three short notes (B-C#-D) followed by a fourth sustained one (F# in the second verse, E in the first), over a B minor chord ("Strange word desire [...]"). Isaak's brooding baritone vocal also has a similar timbre/quality to Gosling's. Lastly, Peter & Gordon's A World Without Love (while in the key of E major), shares the same relative melody (2-3-4-6) as City of Stars, with three short notes followed by a fourth sustained one ("[...] care what they say").

City of Stars (:00) VS Moves like Jagger (1:12)

City of Stars
Key: A major/F# minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, E, F#min, F#min (ii, V7, vi, vi)
Bmin, E, Amaj7, Amaj7 (ii, V7, IM7, IM7)
Verse Vocal Melody:
B-C#-D-F# (2, 3, 4, 6)
G#-A-F#-G#-E-F#-C# (b7, 1, 6, b7, 5, 6, 3)


Moves like Jagger
Key: D major/B minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, Bmin, Bmin, Bmin (vi, vi, vi, vi)
Emin, Emin, Emin, Emin (ii, ii, ii, ii)
Verse Vocal Melody:
B-B-C#-D-F# (6, 6, b7, 1, 3)
F#-F#-F#-E-E (3, 3, 3, 2, 2)


Wicked Game
Key: A major/F# minor
Verse Chord Changes:
Bmin, A, E, E (ii, I, V, V)
Second Verse Vocal Melody:
B-C#-D-F# (2, 3, 4, 6)
E-D-C#-C#-B-A-G# (5, 4, 3, 3, 2, 1, b7)


City of Stars (:09) VS Wicked Game (Chris Isaak) (:26)


A World Without Love
Key: E major
Chorus Chord Progression:
F#min, B7, E (ii, V7, I)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
A-G# (4, 3)
F#-G#-A-C# (2, 3, 4, 6)
E-C#-D#-B-B-A-G#-F#-E (1, 6, b7, 5, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1)


City of Stars (:09) VS A World Without Love (Peter & Gordon) (:17)


Honorable mention:
City of Stars (:09) VS Stranger in Paradise (Kismet) (:59) (Stranger in Paradise's melody was openly taken from Alexander Borodin's "Gliding Dance of the Maidens"!)



Shout Out to My Ex (Little Mix) | Sounds Like | Ugly Heart (G R L )

Shout Out to My Ex by Little Mix Ugly Heart by G R L

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Additional notes/observations: 

Shout Out to My Ex (:48) VS Ugly Heart (:48) [credit to A. Zucker for suggesting this one.]



No (Meghan Trainor) | Sounds Like | No Scrubs (TLC)

No by Meghan Trainor No Scrubs by TLC

Meghan Trainor - NO

TLC - No Scrubs

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Additional notes/observations: 

Meghan Trainor's hit "No" (released March 4, 2016) is reminiscent of several 90's tracks including TLC's "No Scrubs" (released January 23, 1999), and Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" (released June 22, 1999).

No (:55) VS No Scrubs (:51)



Work from Home (Fifth Harmony) | Sounds Like | Love Will Never Do (Janet Jackson)

Work from Home by Fifth Harmony Love Will Never Do (Without You) by Janet Jackson

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Additional notes/observations: 

Work from Home (:02) VS Love Will Never Do (Without You) (2:35)

Honorable mention:
Rugrats Theme Song



I Took A Pill In Ibeza (Mike Posner) | Sounds Like | Obvious Child (Paul Simon)

I Took A Pill In Ibeza by Mike Posner Obvious Child by Paul Simon

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I Took A Pill In Ibeza (:28) VS Obvious Child (:45)



Be Alright (Ariana Grande) | Sounds Like | Rather Be (Clean Bandit)

Be Alright by Ariana Grande Rather Be by Clean Bandit

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Additional notes/observations: 

Ariana Grande's Be Alright (released March 18, 2016), from her third studio album, bears a close resemblance to Rather Be (released January 17, 2014) by Clean Bandit featuring Jess Glynne. In particular, Be Alright uses the same staccato rhythm for the keyborad part and emphasizes the minor sixth and four major seventh chords a la Rather Be's progression.

Be Alright (:00) VS Rather Be (:24)

Be Alright
Key: E/C#min
Chord Progression:
C#min, Amaj7, (vi-IVM7)
G#7, C#min (V7/vi-vi)
C#7, F#min9 (V7/iii9)
G#7, C#min (V7/vi-vi)

Rather Be
Key: B/G#min
Chord Progression:
G#min, F# (vi-V)
Emaj7, B (IVM7-I)



All She Wants to Do Is Dance (Don Henley) | Sounds Like | I Can't Stand the Rain (Eruption)

All She Wants to Do Is Dance by Don Henley I Can't Stand the Rain by Eruption

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Additional notes/observations: 

The groove, and chorus vocal melody to Don Henley's hit All She Wants to Do is Dance (released February 1985, and penned by Danny Kortchmar) is reminiscent of Eruption's disco version of I Can't Stand The Rain (released January 23, 1978).

All She Wants to Do is Dance (1:24) VS I Can't Stand The Rain (:53)

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