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  1. #1
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    All pop songs sound the same

    Interesting video that shows there is some truth to this. Also another video demonstrating auto-tune.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AsQUQ8P8c-A


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RF67YxdCJdk

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member Xpensive Wino's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    It has been ever thus.





  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    This popped up on my YouTube app a month or so ago while I was on the treadmill at the gym. I love the references to one note melodies -- and root note one note melodies at that, listeners have moved past the more emotional sounds of the '70s and '80s, etc. Why am I fretting (sorry) over writing good melodies when no melody at all is the key to today's music -- even outside of rap?


  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    And don't forget the "Sensitive Female Chord Progression:"

    Even though Beyoncé's "If I Were a Boy" hit radio too late to be the song of the summer, there's still a case to be made that it's the perfect song to cap off the year. It's not because of the empathetic lyrics, or B's heartrending, disappointed vocals. No, it has everything to do with the four chords that underpin the song's verse, circling from yearning to triumph and back again, four chords that were inescapable in 2008.

    Let's call this the Sensitive Female Chord Progression, so named because . . . well, because when I first noticed it in 1998 (when I became keenly aware that Sarah McLachlan's "Building a Mystery" sounded an awful lot like Joan Osborne's "One of Us"), it seemed to be the exclusive province of Lilith Fair types baring their souls for all to see. Think Jewel's "Hands." Melissa Etheridge's "Angels Would Fall." Nina Gordon's "Tonight and the Rest of My Life."

    So what is the Sensitive Female Chord Progression, exactly? It's simple enough for the music theory-inclined: vi-IV-I-V. No good? Well, for a song in the key of A minor, it would be Am-F-C-G. Still confused? Here's an easy way to see if a song uses the chord progression: Just sing Osborne's lyrics, "What if God was one of us? Just a slob like one of us?" over the suspect four chords. If it fits, you've just spotted one in the wild. Once you're attuned to it, you'll hear it everywhere.

    And the Sensitive Female Chord Progression was indeed everywhere in 2008, which started off with OneRepublic's "Apologize" enjoying its chart afterglow. Since then, it's popped up in songs by Aimee Mann ("Borrowing Time"), Secondhand Serenade ("Fall for You"), Katy Perry ("Fingerprints"), Moby ("Every Day It's 1989"), Sugarland ("Take Me As I Am"), Carolina Liar ("I'm Not Over"), T.I. ("Whatever You Like"), Natasha Bedingfield ("Angel"), and, in a last-minute shocker, Guns N' Roses (the chorus of "Shackler's Revenge").
    To be fair, rock and pop music has always had formula chord progressions, often by era -- the pre-Beatles early '60s was absolutely dominated by the I-VI-IV-V progression, which in the key of C is C, Am, F, and G. And if you're looking for those sorts of formulas, Rikky Rooksby's How To Write Songs On Guitar is a great place to start. It's also a great book to get out of a songwriting rut by discovering chord sequences you may not have thought of yourself.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Jim W's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    It's upside down and backwards!

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    So this guy, Max Martin is a "low-risk" pop song writer with 21 number one songs on BillBoard as of March 2016. And 54 songs in the top 10. Add to that Pro Tools, auto-tune and lots of compression to everything, you will get a ubiquitous bland form of muzak for today's young minds. Amazing that the pop music industry has sunk to such mediocrity.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Of course, the kids listening to this stuff can hear all of the subtle nuances, and no doubt, think it's all cool. And/or "it's all good," as they say these days.


  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member J T's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by Foggy72 View Post
    ... Add to that Pro Tools, auto-tune and lots of compression to everything...


    What's wrong with that?
    The farther you go, the closer you are.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member J T's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Melodyne for polyphonic works very well for a lot of stuff.


    Lots of strings and drums are digital...

    You would be surprised how much Autotune, etc. is used everywhere and in every style of music AND Post production video/cinema. If done skillfully, you'll not notice.
    The farther you go, the closer you are.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Melodyne is awesome. I only wish the new EQ and harmonic shaping tools in Melodyne Studio 4 responded to DAW automation. But between being able to tune vocals, tune polyphonic material and mangle sound with fun science experiments, it's a great tool.

    And compression has been the sound of just about all styles of pop music since the 1960s. Geoff Emerick loved his Fairchild compressor on Ringo's drums, and on loads of other parts of the Beatles' recordings.

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    When the vast majority of commercial radio stations are owned by such a tiny group of corporate conglomerates, is it any wonder?
    Just another grumpy, gimpy, grizzled geezer, gettin' on the goodfoot!

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member deytookerjaabs's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    I'm not sure of the exact treaty on pop but I do know I tend to find those "subtle nuances" in stuff quite a bit. IMO, the singer/songwriter types & indie rock bands etc of today bore me to tears. But, I ****ing love me some solid rap. I hear a great rap tune and the syncopation, meter, motifs of the rappers "flow," when good, will be akin to Tony Williams riding the ride cymbal while stabbing the snare. Meanwhile you can get wonderful melodies and contrasting samples to make the whole tune it's own thing. That's where a lot of the emotion/effort is these days. Then there's the brilliant composers of electronic stuff coming out of the UK for the past 20+ years which is just undeniable but it's less approachable than "pop" music without question. My rock'n'roll friends think I'm crazy but my jazz buddies mostly agree when I say I'd rather bump the hip hop station on the radio than the college indie rock or pop stations these days. That said, there's some cool bands out there, just went to a street fest the other night and every act had a great vibe but didn't sound like normal "radio friendly unit shifters" as Cobain once said. Music is everywhere today it's just the commercial end gets more diluted every year, kind of like how the klondike bar gets smaller & smaller & filled with an ever increasing list of ingredients.

  13. #13

    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Hit Lessons.

    I would rather have a full bottle in front of me than a full frontal lobotomy.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member Elmore's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    My 23 year old son recently told me his favorite song is Voodoo Chile. The version off of Electric Ladyland. And he does like a bunch of new music and electronic crap. I have done my part. Waylon never had this problem.

    "What's it SOUND like, baby?" - Ray Charles

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Autotune.

    I've faked it more times than I'll ever admit to a jury.

    I was tired, torn down, wore out, and only wanted a sandwich.

    I reckon its justifiable payback for all the times I had to sleep in the wet spot and still cuddle.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    One more video on the state of today's pop music. There's more detail in this one, and provides research data as well going back from the 60s to present.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVME_l4IwII

  17. #17

    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

    :-) This video is a great toungue in cheek version of this argument...

  18. #18
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by mattnew33 View Post
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5pidokakU4I

    :-) This video is a great toungue in cheek version of this argument...
    That's a great video -- it's worth embedding here (language NSFW):


  19. #19

    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    That's a great video -- it's worth embedding here (language NSFW):


    Found these guys about a year ago and this vid made me an instant fan.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    TOTALLY AWESOMER THAN HECK! Them guys is my new heros!
    Renderit, You have an interesting perspective and your posts aren't boring...
    Ren, all in all, I'm giving you a C- today's posts...
    Most of what you write with regards to my posts is cryptic nonsensical gibberish like this. I would prefer if you actually added something to the conversation but hey, I haven't walked in your shoes. So being as nice as possible: I look at your posts as if I was dealing with an eccentric cousin who comes to visit unannounced.

  21. #21
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by renderit View Post
    TOTALLY AWESOMER THAN HECK! Them guys is my new heros!
    Not as awesome as this guy....

    When I first starting listening to him back in 1976 I think it was, I tried not to like him.

    How could anyone not?

    What a performance!


  22. #22
    Les Paul Forum Member renderit's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by Texas Blues View Post
    Not as awesome as this guy....

    When I first starting listening to him back in 1976 I think it was, I tried not to like him.

    How could anyone not?

    What a performance!

    Chit! He was my hero way before 76. I'm a Ziggy Boy.
    maxren-furryroad
    Renderit, You have an interesting perspective and your posts aren't boring...
    Ren, all in all, I'm giving you a C- today's posts...
    Most of what you write with regards to my posts is cryptic nonsensical gibberish like this. I would prefer if you actually added something to the conversation but hey, I haven't walked in your shoes. So being as nice as possible: I look at your posts as if I was dealing with an eccentric cousin who comes to visit unannounced.

  23. #23
    Les Paul Forum Member Ed Driscoll's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same


  24. #24
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed Driscoll View Post
    It ain't my bag.

    But if thats what the kids want who am I to say otherwise?

    Don't bother me none.

    Lots of cats on this forum have played Mustang Sally for a living.

    Seems to me that the new kids have come up with a better Mustang Sally.

    I played in a band once that had John Mellencamp songs as part of the set list.

    Geez Louise.

    I've been an entertainer and musician all of my life.

    Which more or less means that I'm a whore.

    I would like to think I have a smidgen of talent but the reality is....

    I've just never been that good at negotiating price.

  25. #25
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: All pop songs sound the same

    This flick has that whole ayoh ayoh vibe.

    But it reminds me of my dear sweet dog Missylou.



    What can I say?

    Perhaps I have no shame.




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