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Things I Like in Songs


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There are a couple of things that I always like when I hear them in songs. Here are some:

  • When there are sounds of people cheering and partying in the background, even though the song is clearly a studio recording. Examples include 'Love Shack' by the B-52s and 'All Night Long' by Lionel Richie.
  • When there's an acoustic guitar section in the middle of a rock song that uses mostly electric guitars.
  • The key change that goes up one step in the second part of a pop song/ballad.
  • Awesome saxophone solos in 80s and 90s pop rock.

Agree/disagree? How about things you like?

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A track that starts in the center and goes wide or starts wide and goes to the center. But alot of people like that.

Ethnic Vocals that are more percussive than lyrical. Scat singing, rambling, Some old blues guy barking into a microphone. Love it.

(only example i can think of right now but my hdd is full of stuff, it has a sax too)
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  • Bells, man. Especially church bells.
  • Any kind of groovy bassline, I'm a complete sucker for bass.
  • The key change thing in the OP, yes. Actually most key changes are a-okay with me.
  • Also agree with saxophones.
  • When artists have different or extended chorus lyrics the second or third time around. <- the best thing
  • Long build-y intros, when done right, are incredible and I love them the most.
  • Group or multi-layered vocals are usually pretty neat.

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  • When there's an acoustic guitar section in the middle of a rock song that uses mostly electric guitars.
  • Awesome saxophone solos in 80s and 90s pop rock.

Yeah, I gotta agree 100% with those. I also love it when a melody is harmonized to emphasize certain phrases or lyrics.

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- When lyrics are spoken instead of sung.

Sounds like

is up your alley then.

As for me, here's some stuff I like to see in music

  • Songs based on a fully realized concept (the larger the better)
  • Abstraction that is tangible from the music
  • Creative lyrics
  • Positive messages

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There are a couple of things that I always like when I hear them in songs. Here are some:

  • When there's an acoustic guitar section in the middle of a rock song that uses mostly electric guitars.
  • The key change that goes up one step in the second part of a pop song/ballad.

These two are super nice.

I love, love love love it when there's a huge yet fast up and down roll on the scale, especially in cutesy pop and chiptune music. It sounds super cheesy and corny, but is candy to my ears : D.

I love it in dramatic sections of songs (like the bridge or something) when there's a crazy cool arp playing. Especially with piano and harps.

Also I love a consistent and clever use of the ride bell.

Oh and it is the best thing ever when someone plays crazy notes and progressions with the bass and still having it sound good and backing the music very well.

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A lot of things people mentioned I'm a fan of as well, but here are some that come to mind for me.

Love epic vocal choral tracks (Carl Orff, etc)

Melodies that are hum-able or sing-able (relating to stuff already with vocals and stuff that isn't)

Canons or rounds that are complex

Fun vocal effects used tastefully

Clever and unique harmonies

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Songs that don't over-abuse the chorus. Better yet, songs that have clearly defined verse and chorus sections but never repeat the lyrics. I also find myself gravitating to a lot of bands that have a high-pitched male lead vocal a relaxed female vocal: Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins, Shiny Toy Guns. Also, songs that avoid giving solos/instrumentals their own sections and instead insist on placing blistering 'solos' on the chorus, right up there with the vocals.

And loud bass.....guitar, synth or not, make it loud.

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I will reference rock songs mainly with mine.

.break downs where the music goes from intense to a lull perfect example from The Count of Tuscany

.Random comedy chords

.Dubbing from a different media, like a movie quotes

.Meaningful lyrics, examples of bad ones usually use the words "Club" "DJ" "Bass"

.Interesting melodies to keep me interested in the song

.The musician showing off their skills with intricate melodies.

.Sampling

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  • Successfully changing time signatures multiple times in the middle of the track.
  • Funky time signatures with unique, but consistent percussive elements.
  • Percussion breakdowns, especially with lots of variety.
  • Sections that are easy to improv on top of.
  • Reversed sounds: piano, guitar, cymbal rolls, whatever.
  • Hit the low E (works especially well with cello and piano).

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-Super-strong, memorable melodies.

-Guitar and synth solos.

-High-energy melodic vocals. They can be laced with a bit of goofiness too, and I'll eat that stuff right up (see: the soundtrack for Daytona USA)

-Bass in general. Groovy and funky, manic and progressive, or thumping and powerful; I tend to really get into the bass of a song when it's prominent.

-High levels of songwriting prowess and musicianship.

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