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All Posts Tagged Verse Rhythm

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Geronimo (Sheppard) | Sounds Like | Raging Fire (Phillip Phillips)

Geronimo by Sheppard Raging Fire by Phillip Phillips



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Sheppard's hit Geronimo (released February 28, 2014) is reminiscent of several tunes including Phillip Phillips' Raging Fire (released March 3, 2014), Adam Ant's Strip (released November 1983), Simple Minds' Alive and Kicking (released September 20, 1985), and The Cars' Shake It Up (released November 9, 1981). Similarities between the verses to Geronimo, Raging Fire, Alive and Kicking and Strip are: same key (G major), vocal/guitar melodies that mainly utilize the first four notes of the G pentatonic major scale, similar tempos (Geronomo and Raging Fire), and similar rhythms (latin/rumba feel of the bass/drum part).

Geronimo (:12) VS Raging Fire (:28)

Geronimo (1:34) VS Strip (:00)

Geronimo (1:34) VS Alive and Kicking (2:21)

Geronimo (1:34) VS Shake It Up (2:00)

Trouble (Iggy Azalea) | Sounds Like | I'll Take You There (The Staple Singers)

Trouble by Iggy Azalea I'll Take You There by The Staple Singers



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Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's song Trouble (released February 24th, 2015), which features Jennifer Hudson, is reminiscent of several throwback soul/R&B songs. The gospel-tinged piano riff features the same rhythm as the Staple Singers I'll Take You There (released 1972), and Trouble has a similar chord progression (albeit in a different key) to Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff (released May 1971). Likewise, the opening jangly guitar riff/arrangement is similar to the Jackson 5's I Want You Back (released October 7, 1969). Hudson's chorus vocal melody is also similar to the chorus vocal melody to the Black Crowe's Jealous Again (released 1989).

Trouble (:00) VS I’ll Take You There (:14)

Similar songs:

Trouble VS The Spinner's How Could I Let You Get Away (:00)

Trouble VS The Style Council’s Mick's Blessings (:00)

Trouble VS Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff (:00)

Trouble VS The Jackson 5's I Want You Back (:00)

Trouble VS Al Green's Love & Happiness (:55)

Trouble VS The Church's Under the Milky Way (:41)

Trouble VS Take Me or Leave Me from Rent (:00)

Trouble VS The Black Crowes’ Jealous Again (:29)

Domino (Jessie J) | Sounds Like | Bette Davis Eyes (Kim Carnes)

Domino by Jessie J Bette Davis Eyes by Kim Carnes



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The verse vocal melody to Jessie J's Domino is very similar to the verse vocal melody to Kim Carnes' Bette Davis Eyes. Likewise, the guitar part to Domino is rhythmically similar to the keyboard part in BDE.

Domino (:06) VS Bettie Davis Eyes (:14)

Happy (Pharrell Williams) | Sounds Like | Cool Jerk (The Capitols)

Happy by Pharrell Williams Cool Jerk by The Capitols



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Pharrell Williams' infectious hit Happy, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack (released December 16, 2013), reflects a range of influences from mid- and late-Sixties Pop/Soul in its verses to mid-Seventies Pop in its choruses. The production and rhythm of Happy's verses are reminiscent of The Capitol's 1966 hit Cool Jerk (1:34) (particularly the drum beat and sound). It's also similar to Wilson Pickett's Land of 1000 Dances (:42), as well as Stevie Wonder's Fingertips Part 2 (:39, i.e. "clap your hands just a little bit louder"), Ray Charles' What I'd Say (3:30), Aretha Franklin's Chain of Fools, and Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar. The verse is essentially an F major blues progression, featuring an F minor pentatonic riff and a "call and response" between the vocals and the keyboard. Likewise, there are sonic references to The Fifth Dimension's Up, Up and Away (Pharrell even utters the line "I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space) and Donovan's Sunshine Superman (again Pharrell subconsciously sings "Sunshine, she's here you can take a break").

Happy's chorus features a C#maj7-Cmin7-Cmin7-Fmajor chord progression, which at first implies that the key has switched from F major to F minor (i.e. VI-v-v-i). However, the final chord of the chorus (the root) remains major, which provides a pleasant surprise to the listener. This major/minor root shift reminds many of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, which does the same thing in its second verse (using C#major instead of the expected C#minor). The same chord progression is found in the verses for Hall and Oates' One On One (albeit a whole step higher and slower).

Honorable mention:
The choruses for Nicolette Larson's Lotta Love (released October 2, 1978), Little Anthony and the Imperial's 1965 classic Hurts So Bad (:25), Minnie Ripperton's Loving You (released January 13, 1975), and Happy, all share the same first two chords and rhythm. Lastly, Happy has a winking melodic/lyrical reference to Cameo's Word Up ("Throw your hands in the air, like you don't care) via the line "With the air like I don't care, baby, by the way."

Happy (:13) VS Cool Jerk (1:34)

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