SotD: Friday, March 18

So, J Lo has released a new song that is burning up the airwaves. It’s intended as a dance song, the sort of song that doesn’t bear lyric analysis, because the lyrics are seriously inane – but I can see dancing to the chart, definitely. It’s got a good beat.

The thing is, the best part of the song is this haunting, exotic-sounding little two-bar refrain throughout. The rest is just rhythm and generic “hey look at me, I’m in a club dancing and getting drunk” lyrics, but that phrase is catchy and (I daresay) music. Here – take a listen and you’ll see what I mean.

Why is that a problem? Well, if you listen to the same radio stations I listen to, you’ll realize that the refrain in question is not exactly original:

Don’t get me wrong; I’m sure that J Lo and Pitbull paid for the rights to sample Edward Maya & Vika Jigulina’s “Stereo Love” in “On the Floor.” It’s hardly a novel concept in the music industry. It just seems to me that it was rather unnecessary. “Stereo Love” (which comes from Romania, incidentally – hence the exotic flavor?) is a #1 hit abroad and could have been here, too (it’s peaked at #11) if it hadn’t been co-opted by J Lo’s name recognition and Idol platform.

But wait! It turns out that “Stereo Love” isn’t original, either! It was inspired by an 1989 song, “Bayatilar” – from Azerbaijan!

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. It’s true after all – there’s no such thing as an original thought, at least when it comes to popular music.

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