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All Posts Tagged Verse Vocal Melody

Learn more about Verse Vocal Melody here


Chained To The Rhythm (Katy Perry) | Sounds Like | Love Light in Flight (Stevie Wonder)

Chained To The Rhythm by Katy Perry Love Light in Flight by Stevie Wonder

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The verse vocal melody in Katy Perry's reggae-flavored dance song Chained To The Rhythm is reminiscent of the chorus vocal melody to Stevie Wonder's Love Light in Flight ("Living our lives through a lens" VS "Make me feel like paradise"). Rhythmically, Chained is also similar to Luther Vandross' Don't You Know That, Chaka Khan's Ain't Nobody, and Lionel Ritchie's Running With The Night.

Chained To The Rhythm (:09) VS Love Light in Flight (:35)



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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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"!)



Confessions of a Broken Heart (Lindsay Lohan) | Sounds Like | Speed of Sound (Coldplay)

Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father) by Lindsay Lohan Speed of Sound by Coldplay

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"Confessions of a Broken Heart (Daughter to Father)" and "Speed of Sound" were both released in 2005, but 6 months apart from each other ("Confessions" on October 18, "Speed of Sound" on April 18). "Confessions" is in the key of G-Sharp Minor and at a tempo of 120 BPM, whereas "Speed of Sound" is in the key of A Mixolydian and at a tempo of 123 BPM.



Girls Talk Boys (5 Seconds of Summer) | Sounds Like | Hash Pipe (Weezer)

Girls Talk Boys by 5 Seconds of Summer Hash Pipe by Weezer

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Compare the descending falsetto vocal melody.
Girls Talk Boys (1:08) VS Hash Pipe (:10)



When I Need You (Leo Sayer) | Sounds Like | Famous Blue Raincoat (Leonard Cohen)

When I Need You by Leo Sayer Famous Blue Raincoat by Leonard Cohen

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The verse vocal melody to Leo Sayer's signature 70s soft rock ballad, When I Need Love (released February 1977) bears a strong resemblance to the chorus vocal melody to Leonard Cohen's folk song Famous Blue Raincoat (released 1971). The intro/outro vocal melody to Elton John and Gary Osborne's pop hit Little Jeannie (released May 1,1980) also seems to take inspiration from Famous Blue Raincoat (i.e "You stepped into my life from a bad dream [...]"). Thanks to Ian R. (@77BlueJays) for suggesting this comparison!

When I Need Someone (:14) VS Famous Blue Raincoat (1:01)

Little Jeannie (:01) VS Famous Blue Raincoat (1:01)



Style (Taylor Swift) | Sounds Like | My Kind of Love (Emeli Sande)

Style by Taylor Swift My Kind of Love by Emeli Sande

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The verse vocal melody to Taylor Swift's chart-topping single Style (released January 27, 2015) from her 1989 album, closely resembles the chorus vocal melody to Emeli Sande's top-40 single My Kind of Love (released June 8, 2012).

Style (:40) VS My Kind of Love (:46)



All in My Head (Fifth Harmony) | Sounds Like | Sorry (Justin Bieber)

All in My Head (Flex) by Fifth Harmony Sorry by Justin Bieber

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All in My Head (:38) VS Sorry (:13)



Hymn For The Weekend (Coldplay) | Sounds Like | Tell Me (Groove Theory)

Hymn For The Weekend by Coldplay Tell Me by Groove Theory

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Additional notes/observations: 

Coldplay's Hymn for the Weekend (released January 25, 2016) has a similar groove, verse vocal melody, and verse chord progression (relatively speaking) as Groove Theory's mid-90's chart-topper Tell Me (released September 5, 1995). Hymn for the Weekend's chorus vocal melody is also reminiscent of the intro vocal melody to fun's We Are Young, and Fabolous' Throw It In The Bag. Compare the melodies for the lines "[So if by the] time the bar closes and you feel like falling down" with "I-Oh-I-Oh/Got me feeling drunk and high."

Hymn for the Weekend (:44) VS Tell Me (:21) [verse vocal melody and groove]

Hymn for the Weekend (1:48) VS We Are Young (:41) [chorus vocal melody]

Hymn for the Weekend (1:48) VS Throw It In The Bag (Fabolous) (1:37)



Given to Fly (Pearl Jam) | Sounds Like | Going to California (Led Zeppelin)

Given to Fly by Pearl Jam Going to California by Led Zeppelin

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Pearl Jam's Nineties track Given to Fly (released December 22, 1997, and featured on the Showtime series Roadies) lifts its verse vocal melody directly from Led Zeppelin's classic rock ballad Going to California (released November 8, 1971).

Given to Fly (:15) VS Going to California (:13)

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