The Song - "Rolling In The Deep" is pop music at it's most basic in that it uses a bare bones form used by countless hit records. The form is:
Verse, B Section, Chorus | Verse, B Section, Chorus | Bridge, Verse, Chorus, Chorus, Chorus
This means the form is:
A, B, C, A, B, C, D, A, C, C, C
What makes this song bare bones is that there are no song intros, interludes or outros. In fact, the song ends pretty abruptly.
The Arrangement - Once again, this is about as formulaic as you can get. That being said, take special note because it works!! It's a clinic on how to arrange a song without anything extra getting in the way.
The song begins with just the eighth note guitar and lead vocal, which is joined by the kick drum in the 2nd half of the verse. In the B section, simple piano triads, the bass, and rest of the drums enter. See the development?
In the chorus, an strumming acoustic guitar and piano eighth notes push the song along as well as the entrance from the background vocal answers.
In the second verse, the low piano octaves on the 'one and', then the background vocals enter in the 2nd B section. See how the 2nd verse develops? In the second chorus the background vocals add a harmony to make that section different from the first.
The last verse and first out chorus breaks down to kick and fills (which seems to be happening in all the hits these days).
The arrangement elements look like this:
* The Foundation - bass and drums
* The Pad - there's not really a true pad, but in the B section, the piano playing whole note chords does it for a bit.
* The Rhythm - the eighth note guitar in the verse, the strummed acoustic and eighth piano in the chorus
* The Lead - the lead vocal
* The Fills - the background vocals and occasional clean lead guitar
The Sound - Nothing special here. Like all Rick Rubin productions, this is not that far away from the sound of a demo. The vocal has a pretty good sound with a nicely shaped long reverb, but the eighth note guitar is so dry that it really does sound like it's played in someone's garage. The drums have a big natural ambience that works, but isn't particularly great sounding. The lead vocal is a little on the squashed side, and has a click at 21 seconds that I'm not sure is on the master or just this video.
The Performance - Nothing special here except for Adele's vocal, which is great, as it should be. All the parts of the song a very simple, but they're performed well.
Feel free to send you your suggestions for future song analysis.
Help support this blog. Any purchases made through our Amazon links help support this website with no cost to you.
You should follow me on Twitter for daily news and updates on production and the music business.
Don't forget to check out my Music 3.0 blog for tips and tricks on navigating the music business.