When Songs Sound Similar to One Another

I woke up yesterday morning to my local radio station promoting the fact that they’d be playing the new Katy Perry song Roar every hour, so no one would miss it. A few minutes later, they played the song, and as soon as it started, I started thinking to myself “Why does this sound familiar?” Once the chorus of Roar kicked in, I found myself singing instead “Say what you wanna say and the let the words fall out/ Honestly, I wanna see you be brave” It turned out that Katy Perry’s new song sounded eerily similar to Sara Bareilles’ Brave. I’m not the only one who noticed, since in no time at all, others made the connection. Responses to the similarities ranged from:

  • Brave >>>>> Roar (I’m part of the group who shares this opinion)
  • The similarities are minor/ I don’t see the fuss/ Can’t they just co-exist?
  • They’re two totally different songs!

What’s funny is that both songs were written by different people, who just happened to be on the same wavelength and decided to write songs that ended up being quite similar to one another. Problem is, Sara’s song has been out since April. And compared to Katy, Sara is a minor artist, so while radio stations are rushing to put Roar on repeat, Brave hasn’t been heard as much (here on Canadian radio anyways) and now is only recognized because of this “controversy.”

 

Anyways, all this talk about these two songs sounding similar to one another got me thinking about past examples, and one of my favourite memories from college. See, two of my friends and I were studying/doing homework for the one class we had together, and somehow we started talking about music (clearly not studying). At the time, Chris Brown had a song out called With You. My friend Chris and I talked about the merits of the song, and it came up that it was pretty much Beyonce’s Irreplaceable, Part 2. Our friend Ian never made the connection before and so we made him REALLY listen to With You. Within seconds, he started singing “To the left, to the left” over top of the Chris Brown song, and his look of realization was the equivalent to the How I Met Your Mother “glass shattering” when they realized each others’ annoying habits. It was kind of hilarious. Then we started going with other songs that sounded similar or had similar elements: Rihanna & Ne-Yo’s Hate That I Love You and Ne-Yo’s Sexy Love; Leona Lewis’ Angel and Jordin Sparks’ Tattoo, to name a few.

 

Also, who could forget the controversy that occurred when Beyonce released Halo and Kelly Clarkson released Already Gone. Kelly Clarkson doesn’t take s**t from anybody, so when she has an opinion about something, girl let’s it be known – and she was none too pleased with Ryan Tedder, who produced both songs. As far as releasing the songs as a single, Beyonce was first, but in the production of the song, Kelly’s was first. For me, this was the beginning of when I started to not like Tedder as much. His songs started having an element about them that sounded the same.

 

Any other songs out there, released at relatively the same time, that sound alike? Songs that sample other songs are an entirely different story. I’m talking two seemingly different songs that share similar qualities.

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53rd Grammy Award Winners

Better late than never right? So the biggest night in music came and went, and two days later, I’m still not entirely sure how I felt about it. I mean I love the Grammys – I love award shows in general – but this year’s show just seemed like such a mix bag, not just with the actual winners but the performances as well.

WINNERS

Album of the Year: Arcade Fire, “The Suburbs” – Shocker! Their win was surprising for two reasons. First, they beat Eminem and Lady Antebellum. I was almost certain Eminem was gonna take it, and then with the night Lady A was having, I thought maybe they were gonna sweep it all. Second, Arcade Fire didn’t even win in the Best Alternative Album category (that went to The Black Keys). Through the years that I’ve actually followed the Grammys, the AOTY winner didn’t win in their own category?

Record of the Year/Song of the Year: Lady Antebellum, “Need You Now” – They totally deserved it. I’ve said this many times before, but I fell in love with this song when they performed it at last year’s Grammys. One year later, I’m still not tired of it! (Except for maybe the dance remix that our local radio station insists on playing – that’s just annoying). Also, I totally called that Lady A would win ROTY purely because they were up against 4 hip-hop/rap songs which were all amazing, and it would’ve been hard to choose one.

Best New Artist: Esperanza Spalding – I’m sorry, but who are you? I’m happy Beiber didn’t win, but I was pulling for Drake all the way!

Best Female Pop Vocal Performance: Lady Gaga, “Bad Romance” – I was hoping for Sara Bareilles to win, but with Gaga nominated, I knew it wasn’t happening. Sara’s Grammy win will come one day.

Best Male Pop Vocal Performance: Bruno Mars, “Just the Way You Are” – I feel conflicted with Bruno Mars’ win. On the one side, he totally deserves it. It’s a great song. On the other side, now that he’s won a Grammy, he’s not eligible for Best New Artist next year.

Best Pop Performance by a Duo/Group: Train, “Hey Soul Sister (Live)” – I admit it, I’m biased, I wanted Maroon 5 to win. I always want my favs to win, so sue me. But “Hey Soul Sister” was undeniably EVERYWHERE in the past year or two so I guess they deserved to win. I’m gonna call it now though, Maroon 5 will at the very least be nominated next year for “Never Gonna Leave This Bed” (but then again, that’s me being biased.)

Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals: Herbie Hancock and others, “Imagine” – I knew it! Throw a handful of artists together on one song, and nobody else stands a chance.

Best Pop Vocal Album: Lady Gaga, “The Fame Monster” – Was it really that much of a surprise? Nope.

Best Rock Album: Muse, “The Resistance” – Awesome album. Granted, that was the only album nominated in the category that I actually listened to.

Best Rap Album: Eminem, “Recovery” – At least Eminem won this one. He really should’ve won more Grammys though. Shame.

Best Urban/Alternative Performance: Cee-Lo Green, “Fuck You” – Happy he won something for this song. Although the one thing I’ve got to say is how hilarious it was seeing how they handled the song title. The Grammys had to go the long route and call it “The song otherwise known as Forget You”. Too funny.

Best Rap/Sung Collaboration: Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys, “Empire State of Mind” – It really was between this song and “Love the Way You Lie”. Don’t think there’s much else to say about it.

PERFORMANCES

Aretha Franklin Tribute – Not sure how I felt about it, which should’ve been an indication of how the rest of the night went. On paper, it should’ve been CRAZY AMAZING with all the voices involved (Christina Aguilera, Jennifer Hudson, Yolanda Adams, Martina McBride, and Florence Welch). But with everyone trying to outdo one another with the vocal runs, it just seemed like overkill.

Lady Gaga – I’m not a Gaga fan so I really could’ve cared less. But “Born This Way” with its completely obvious similarities to Madonna’s “Express Yourself” and “Vogue” were so distracting.

B.o.B., Bruno Mars, and Janelle Monae – Their performance was, without a doubt, one of the best of the night. I definitely love it when artists change up their songs for award shows or televised performances because it gives us a fresher take on songs we hear all the time on radio.

Lady Antebellum – Some people may not have liked their stripped-down set, but it was a nice contrast to the flash of some of the other performances.

Cee-Lo Green, Gwyneth Paltrow, and the Muppets – It was just a great performance!  I kinda noticed when Gwyneth didn’t sing part of a line while she was getting up to stand on the piano, but hey, she got up on the piano with KILLER HEELS! Why there is some hate towards Gwyneth is unbelievable. She’s mad talented.

Eminem, Dr. Dre, with Rihanna, Adam Levine, and Skylar Grey – First thing’s first, I got totally excited when the Grammys announced that Adam was performing with Eminem and Dre. I mean how random but awesome is that?! Consider me disappointed when Adam was relegated to just accompanying Rihanna on “Love the Way You Lie (Part II).” I mean what a wasted opportunity. It reminds me of a few years back when John Mayer and John Legend only accompanied Alicia Keys and Fergie, on their respective songs. Anyways, the rest of the performance was awesome – like how could it not?

Katy Perry – I applaud her for starting off with “Not Like the Movies” but then she went into “Teenage Dream” which wasn’t really all that spectacular. We’ve heard her do this before. She could’ve changed it up a little. Heck, all she really needed to do was bring in Darren Criss.

Rihanna & Drake – Uhmmm, why did Rihanna get to perform twice? Rihanna was really only nominated for “Love the Way You Lie” (I know she was nominated and won for “Only Girl” but that was for Best Dance Recording…) and she got to perform it. I didn’t really see a need for her to come out again and perform “What’s My Name?”. They should’ve just let Drake do his own performance. Or you know, give Esperanza Spalding a chance to perform (outside of the Grammy Jazz Ensemble thing), so people would’ve sort of known who she was when she won?

So that’s all I’ve got. Here’s hoping next year’s show is better. Oh, and also, maybe let’s get a couple more awards handed out DURING the show? It is called the Grammy AWARDS, not Grammy CONCERT. Just puttin’ it out there.

53rd Annual Grammy Award Nominations

It’s that time of year again! Award season is upon us, with nominations for some of the biggest names in movies and music are slowly announced. Last night, with the official live nomination concert, we found out the nominees for this year’s Grammy Awards. And as usual, here comes the accompanying rave/rant blog post!

RECORD OF THE YEAR

  • B.o.B. ft. Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Cee-Lo Green – F**k You
  • Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  • Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

I absolutely love how rap & hip-hop is so dominant in this category. All these songs are without a doubt some of the best and most well-received songs of the year. This is gonna be a tough category, but if I had to choose which will win, I think I’m gonna have to give the edge to Eminem & Rihanna. This is Eminem’s year. But I wouldn’t be surprised if Lady Antebellum won because of the number of rap & hip-hop songs nominated alongside them, and voters could be split.

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

  • Arcade Fire “The Suburbs”
  • Eminem “Recovery”
  • Lady Antebellum “Need You Now”
  • Lady Gaga “The Fame Monster”
  • Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”

I’m surprised that Jay-Z’s “The Blueprint Vol. 3” didn’t get nominated, but there’s no doubt whatsoever that Eminem is winning this.

SONG OF THE YEAR

  • Ray LaMontagne – Beg Steal or Borrow
  • Cee-Lo Green – F**k You
  • Miranda Lambert – The House That Built Me
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Lady Antebellum – Need You Now

As always, this category is not to be confused with Record of the Year. This category awards the songwriters for any given song, while ROTY awards the artist and producers of a song. If Lady Antebellum does not win for Record, they’ll win here. The song was just so damn good. I remember them performing this song at last year’s Grammys, and that was it, I became a fan after that performance.

BEST NEW ARTIST

  • Justin Beiber
  • Drake
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Mumford and Sons
  • Esperanza Spalding

Drake is taking this, hands down. If for some reason he does not win, I sure as hell hope that Florence and the Machine win. Justin Beiber? Really? And I don’t even know who the other 2 are. I’ve heard the name Mumford and Sons in passing, but that’s about it. I really don’t know who Esperanza Spalding is. You know what would’ve been great? If Matt Morris or Ry Cuming got nominated, although granted, they were longshots. I would’ve even taken Kris Allen or Adam Lambert, but the only Idol to have been nominated in this category was Carrie Underwood, and that was because she was a lock to win (which she did).

BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

  • Sara Bareilles – King of Anything
  • Beyonce – Halo (Live)
  • Norah Jones – Chasing Pirates
  • Lady Gaga – Bad Romance
  • Katy Perry – Teenage Dream

Because I’m a big fan, I want Sara Bareilles to win. However, her chances are a little on the low side, due to Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

BEST MALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE

  • Michael Buble – Haven’t Met You Yet
  • Michael Jackson – This Is It
  • Adam Lambert – Whataya Want From Me
  • Bruno Mars – Just the Way You Are
  • John Mayer – Half of My Heart

If we base it on previous years, John Mayer practically has it in the bag. But he’s got serious competition this year. Personally, if I had to choose, as much as I love “Just the Way You Are”, I love “Haven’t Met You Yet” more.

BEST POP PERFORMANCE BY A DUO OR GROUP WITH VOCALS

  • Glee Cast – Don’t Stop Believin’ [Regionals Version]
  • Maroon 5 – Misery
  • Paramore – The Only Exception
  • Sade – Babyfather
  • Train – Hey Soul Sister (Live)

First of all, GLEE IS NOMINATED?! Not just for a compilation soundtrack (which they are nominated for), but for an actual song. I mean, don’t get me wrong I love Glee, it’s just a little surprising, that’s all. Secondly, why is it the live version of “Hey Soul Sister”? Regardless, Maroon 5 HAS TO WIN! Chalk it up to me being biased, I don’t care, I just want them to win.

BEST POP COLLABORATION WITH VOCALS

  • B.o.B. ft. Eminem & Hayley Williams – Airplanes, Part II
  • Herbie Hancock, Pink, India.Arie, Seal, Konono No 1, Jeff Beck & Oumou Sangare – Imagine
  • Elton John & Leon Russell – If It Wasn’t for Bad
  • Lady Gaga & Beyonce – Telephone
  • Katy Perry ft. Snoop Dogg – California Gurls

I have a strong feeling that Herbie Hancock and co. will take this. Never underestimate the veterans, not to mention that’s a lot of people in one song. Otherwise, I would think that Lady Gaga and Beyonce would take it.

BEST POP VOCAL ALBUM

  • Justin Beiber “My World 2.0”
  • Susan Boyle “I Dreamed A Dream”
  • Lady Gaga “The Fame Monster”
  • John Mayer “Battle Studies”
  • Katy Perry “Teenage Dream”

I can’t believe Beiber is nominated here. SERIOUSLY? You’re telling me that his album is better than Maroon 5’s “Hands All Over,” Sara Bareilles’ “Kaleidoscope Heart” or Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs”? REALLY? I’ll take Susan Boyle’s nom because it sold a ridiculous number of albums, Gaga because it’s Gaga. But Beiber? COME ON! I hate to go against John Mayer in terms of his music, but I’m pretty sure Katy Perry’s gonna win.

BEST RAP/SUNG COLLABORATION

  • B.o.B ft. Bruno Mars – Nothin’ On You
  • Chris Brown, Tyga, Kevin McCall – Deuces
  • Eminem ft. Rihanna – Love the Way You Lie
  • Jay-Z ft. Alicia Keys – Empire State of Mind
  • John Legend, The Roots, Melanie Fiona & Common – Wake Up! Everybody

Another tough one to call, but ultimately will be down to Eminem & Rihanna vs. Jay-Z & Alicia Keys.

And that’s all from me. Most of my comments are with the Pop categories anyways. What can I say? I’m a pop music fan first, everything else second. Overall, Eminem received 10 nominations, followed by Bruno Mars (for performing/producing/songwriting) with 7, and Jay-Z, Lady Antebellum & Lady Gaga each with 6 nominations. The Grammy Awards will air on CBS, February 13th, 2011.