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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Maroon 5 "Moves Like Jagger" Song Analysis

Here's a song that's #1 this week on The Ultimate Chart by Maroon 5 featuring Christina Aguilera called "Moves Like Jagger." The song is the first top 10 for the band and is included on their third studio album called Hands All Over. As in all song analysis, we'll look at the song form, the arrangement, the sound and the production.

The Song
"Moves Like Jagger" has a very simple pop form, but it's a short pop/dance song intended for radio all the way, so it fits the form completely. It looks like this:

Intro, Verse, Chorus, Verse, Chorus, Bridge, Chorus, Chorus, Outro

The song has only two chords that keep repeating, but the arrangement outlines the song's sections. The intro and outro are both shortened verses with the signature line over the top.

The Arrangement
The arrangement for "Moves Like Jagger" is fairly sparse, although in the chorus there's a lot more going on that there seems. The song is really centered around the rhythm guitar and kick drum, but the catchy whistling signature line defines the intro, the end of the choruses and the outro. The 2nd verse is different from the first in that harmony vocals enter at the end of the lines during the last 8 bars, and the chorus is different from the verse in that the rest of the drum kit enters as well as a very subtle synth string sound playing the rhythm and beefing up the section.

  * The Foundation: Drums and synth bass, especially the kick drum.

  * The Pad: Harmony background vocals in the bridge.

  * The Rhythm: The infectious rhythm funk guitar.

  * The Lead: The lead vocals.

  * The Fills: The whistling signature line in the chorus and at the end of the verses.

The Sound
The sound of the record is classic dance, complete with an up front of the mix kick drum, synth bass, extra snappy snare drum, and a ton of compression to make it as loud and punchy as possible. The one thing I really like is the ambiance sound of the vocal, which sounds like both a long delay and reverb timed to the track.

The Production
"Moves Like Jagger" is top 40 dance-oriented music at it's finest. You have a memorable melody, a catchy lyric, a signature lead line, great vocal performances and an arrangement that pulls the listener in. That's pretty good production in my book.

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Factory Yoyo said...

Meh...usually a fan of M5, and like their dance stuff, but this one sounds like they are trying too hard.

Craig said...

I agree with Factory Yoyo.

I actually like the song in terms of production and hook, but the whole thing feels like they pushed the tempo just a bit too much and it leaves me with a Chipmunks feeling from it.

Dialed back 4-5bpm might have created a more solid groove overall.

Don D said...

I first heard this when Adam Levine and Christina Aguilera performed it live on "The Voice" a few weeks ago. I wasn't terribly impressed then, but that may have been because the vocal talent on that show was so extraordinary - especially as the season wore on -- that this tune just felt thin by comparison. I don't hate the song, I just wouldn't buy it. I DID, however, buy about a dozen tracks from The Voice and I listen to them all the time. I must confess, I'm looking forward to the next season. (And this from a guy who's never seen more than five minutes of American Idol.)

DonD said...

...and, yeah, I agree with Yoyo and Craig above. Considering the song pays homage to Mick Jagger, it should have sounded more R&B, more raw, more...nasty.

banana.thug said...

You guys suck, stop being so critical, the song is awesome! I love the hell out of it, it's different from what they usually do, but it's amazing! It's fun and upbeat and has an amazing feel to it. I blast it as loud as I can get it to go on my car stereo whenever it comes on the radio.

Anonymous said...


"Give It Away" is the second single from electronic music group Deepest Blue. It gave them their second hit on the UK Singles Chart peaking at number nine in 2004.

Overseas Employment Agencies Pakistan said...

yup its awesome song, thnx for suxh explanation....


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