Pharrell- Happy (Kaytranada Remix)

So many layers of awesome in this original/remix duo. I shouldn’t really have to tell you guys that Pharrell Williams is probably the most iconic male pop/R&B star on the scene right now. I know that we sometimes can come off as… pretentious about popular music. I mean, seriously though, fuck Bruno Mars and One Direction. At least, Pharrell has a history of making great music (yeah even despite working with Robin Thicke) with N.E.R.D. and now on his solo career. “Happy” continues that tradition. As the title would suggest, it’s a feel-good track. I mean, look at that music video, people dancing freely to an upbeat positive track. I dance like that in my apartment… alone. It’s something everyone can connect with. Now you might be asking, “CasaSwoop, why does this song make me want to move rhythmically?” The answer, curious reader, is quite simple, and I’m glad you asked. It’s really hard not to dance when you have 3 main elements: a swung bass drum in a standard 2&4 clap beat, a fantastically upbeat (and honestly crazy repetitive) lead vocal, and a soulful full voice chorus with a number of moving harmony lines. That, ladies and gentlemen, is the recipe for success. That’s the sparknotes version of this track, but since it’s so popular, I’ll spare you the dirty dirty details. Let’s focus, rather, on Kaytranada’s inspired remix. The Montreal based producer really ups the electro in his remix. We can tell right away when he adds the real “meat” of the track, which is the highly processed bass line. Rather than keep the clap track of the original, he chooses to add a more complex snare beat that spices the track up a bit. The synth melody is more pronounced in this remix than in the original, especially in the moments where the vocal isn’t as focal. Both tracks are remarkably simple, neither trying too hard to be more than it is. They’re both feel good tracks, and yet Kaytranada’s version feels a bit darker. The reason for this is that the bass line is in a minor key and descending through every measure and the background vocal has been slightly modified to bring out the secondary harmonies that are a bit crunchier (meaning a bit more dissonant). Anyway, excuse me for geeking out for a minute, but please listen to both tracks below and let us know what you think! We seriously want your feedback.

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