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All Posts Tagged Electropop

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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"!)



Levels (Nick Jonas) | Sounds Like | You Oughta Know (Alanis Morissette)

Levels by Nick Jonas You Oughta Know by Alanis Morissette

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Additional notes/observations: 

The chorus to Nick Jonas' Levels (released August 21, 2015) is reminiscent of the chorus to Alanis Morrisette's Grammy-winning hit You Oughta Know (released July 7, 1995). Similarities includes: keys only a half-step apart (Levels: F minor, YOK: F# minor), mixed-mode composition (combining minor and major modes), chord progression (II-I-IV-V, though Levels inserts a bVII-V between the I and IV), and vocal melody (1-4-3; compare the lines from Levels: "And I know" with YOK: "And I'm here").

Levels (:42) VS You Oughta Know (:54)

Levels
Key: F minor/Eb major
Chord Changes (relative to major root):
F, Eb, Db, Bb, Ab, Bb (II-I-bVII-V-IV-V)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
1-4-3-3-4-5-4-b3-2-1 ("And I know we can get higher")
b7-b3-1-1-b7-1 ("There's levels to your love")
b7-b3-1-1-b7-1 ("There's levels to your love")

You Oughta Know
Key: F# minor/E major
Chord Changes (relative to major root):
F#, E, A, B (or II-I-IV-V)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
1-4-3-1-1-4-3 ("And I'm here to remind you")
1-1-4-b3-2-1-1-2-b3-b3 ("Of the mess you left when you went away")



Style (Taylor Swift) | Sounds Like | Jealous (Nick Jonas)

Style by Taylor Swift Jealous by Nick Jonas

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Additional notes/observations: 

Taylor Swift’s Style (released February 9, 2015) is reminiscent of several songs including:

Jealous by Nick Jonas (released September 8, 2014, which itself emulates Prince's Little Red Corvette and Miguel’s Adorn; nevermind that Adorn, released August 7, 2012, emulates Marvin Gaye’s Sexual Healing). Style has the same key (B minor/D), similar chord progression, tempo (95 bpm vs 93 bpm), and production as Jealous.
Style (:19) VS Jealous (:10)
Style
Key: B minor/D major
Chord Progression (Verse): B minor, G (i, VI OR vi, IV)
Jealous
Key: B minor/D major
Chord Progression (Verse): A, B minor, G (VII, i, VI ORV, vi, IV)


Forever in Blue Jeans (:21) by Neil Diamond. Style has a similar verse vocal melody/rhythm.


So Into You (:47) by the Atlanta Rhythm Section. Style has a similar verse chord progression.


Stand Back (:19) by Stevie Nicks (penned by Prince). Similar chorus production and progression. SEE Gold Digger note as well.


Madonna’s Get Into The Groove (:08). Similar chorus chord progression.


Shame (:05) by Evelyn “Champagne” King. Similar verse chord progression.


Stylo (1:16) by Gorillaz


Eminence Front (:48) by the Who


Grease Is The Word by Frankie Valli (:53)


Gold Digger by Kanye West ft. Jamie Foxx - Taylor’s “take me home” line (3:11) has a melody similar to Gold Digger’s Ray Charles sample from I Got A Woman: “She gives me money, when I’m in need.” Taylor's line may have also been inspired by Stevie Nick’s own “take me home” tag line in Stand Back (4:03).


Love Me Harder (:31) by Ariana Grande

Honorable Mention:
Miami Vice Theme Song (Jan Hammer)



Blank Space (Taylor Swift) | Sounds Like | Bleeding Love (Leona Lewis)

Blank Space by Taylor Swift Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis

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Additional notes/observations: 

Taylor Swift's Blank Space (released November 10, 2014, and written by Swift, Max Martin, and Shellback) echoes several songs including: Leona Lewis' Bleeding Love (released October 19, 2007), Lorde's Team (released September 13, 2013), Stevie Nicks' Leather and Lace (released October 6, 1981), Jefferson Starship's Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (released January 30, 1987), fun's We Are Young (released September 20, 2011), and even ABBA's The Winner Takes It All (July 21, 1980).

Blank Space (:47) VS Bleeding Love (:55)

CHORD STRUCTURE/SIMILARITIES/KEYS:
Blank Space
key: F major
I, vi, ii, IV (F, Dm, Gm, Bb)


Bleeding Love (BS has the same key, similar chord structure, and rhythm/production)
key: F major
I, vi, IV, V (F, Dm, Bb, C)


We Are Young (BS has the same key, similar chord structure, and rhythm/production)
key: F major
I, vi, IV, V (F, Dm, Bb, C)


Team (BS has a similar production/drum sound, and especially Taylor's affected vocal lines "Boys only want love when it's torture" compared with Lorde's "I'm kinda tired of being told to put my hands up in the air, so there")
key: Gb major
I, I, vi, V (Gb, Gb, Ebm, Db)


Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now (BS has a slightly similar progression)
key: Gb major
I, vi, IV, V (Gb, Ebm, B, Db)


Leather and Lace (BS has a similar chorus vocal melody, which uses the same whole step intervals, though in different keys and over different progressions. Compare the BS lines: "So it's gonna be forever, or it's gonna go down in flames" to LaL's: "Lover's forever, face to face" -- :48 VS 1:15)
key: Eb major
IV, V, IV, V (Ab, Bb, Ab, Bb)


The Winner Takes It All (BS has a similar progression)
key: Gb major
I, vi, ii, V (Gb, Ebm, Abm, Db)



Dangerous (David Guetta) | Sounds Like | Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana)

Dangerous by David Guetta Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

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The chorus to French DJ/producer David Guetta's single Dangerous featuring Sam Martin on vocals (released October 6, 2014) seems to have been inspired by the chorus to Nirvana's grunge anthem Smells Like Teen Spirit (released September 10, 1991). Both the chorus chord progression and chorus vocal melody to Dangerous is similar to those found in SLTS. There is also some lyrical similarity. Compare the lines, Dangerous: "I don't know where the lights are taking us, but something in the night is dangerous," with SLTS's line "Let me out now, this is dangerous/Here we are now entertain us."

Dangerous (:52) VS Smells Like Teen Spirit (:57)



Chandelier (Sia) | Sounds Like | Heart Attack (Demi Lovato)

Chandelier by Sia Heart Attack by Demi Lovato

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The chorus vocal melody to Australian singer-songwriter Sia's Chandelier (March 17, 2014) is similar to the chorus vocal melody to Demi Lovato's Heart Attack (released February 24, 2013). While Chandelier is in the key of Db major, and Heart Attack is in F minor, they have very similar melodic lines: "Swing from the chan-de-li-ers" (C-Bb-Ab-F-Gb-Ab-Db), and "You make me glo-o-o-o-o-ow" (C-Bb-Ab-F-G-Ab-Eb-C-Bb) and the melody for the line "sho-o-o-o-o-ow" (F-G-Ab-Db-C-G).

Chandelier (:44) VS Heart Attack (:44)



Love Runs Out (OneRepublic) | Sounds Like | Love You like a Love Song (Selena Gomez)

Love Runs Out by OneRepublic Love You like a Love Song by Selena Gomez

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Additional notes/observations: 

For OneRepublic's Love Runs Out (released April 14, 2014), producer/writer Ryan Tedder cleverly dresses up a 12-bar blues in G with elements from several pop hits including the pounding eighth-note drums/piano/'60s stomp of the intro (as heard in Adele's Rolling in the Deep, Four Seasons' Let's Hang On, Supremes' Come See About Me, ELO's Don't Bring Me Down, even Queen's Flash Gordon), and melody from Selena Gomez's Love You like a Love Song, released June 17, 2011 (compare the lines, LRO: "I'll be doin' this, if you have a doubt, 'til the love runs out" VS LYlaLS: "So humanity will play on and on, with the best of 'em. You are beautiful") and Prince's U Got the Look, released July 14, 1987 (compare lines, LRO: "I'll be runnin', I'll be runnin'" VS UGtL: "Your face is jammin', your body's heck-a-slammin'").

Love Runs Out (:32) VS Love You like a Love Song (:33)

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