One of the most popular songs of the season so far has been Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space,” a tongue-in-cheek parody of the media’s perception of Swift herself. But “Blank Space” may not be quite as fresh as some Taylor Swift fans think. One Twitter user noticed the stunning similarity between the melodies of “Blank Space” and Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me,” a hit from yesteryear.
According to the Mirror, Rou Reynolds posted this Vine mash-up of “Blank Space” and “It Wasn’t Me” on his Twitter account with the caption “Taylor Swift stealing Shaggy’s melodies.” You can hear the “Blank Space” mash-up in the video below and judge for yourself if the songs are as identical as Reynolds believes.
— Rou Reynolds (@RouReynolds) January 30, 2015
Of course, this was all in good fun and Reynolds didn’t mean to seriously accuse “Blank Space” of theft.
He said, “Want the big scoop this mornin? The melody in the Chorus of Taylor swift’s ‘Blank Space’ is the same as the one in Shaggy’s ‘It Wasn’t Me’ (sic).”
Reynolds wasn’t the first to recognize the similarities between “Blank Space” and “It Wasn’t Me.” Listen to this “Blank Space”/”It Wasn’t Me” mash-up to hear just how identical they sound.
This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise to anyone familiar with the structure of pop music. Recent studies have shown that the more simple the song, the more likely it is to become a mainstream hit. For this reason, many pop musicians use similar chord progressions over and over again — which is bound to make formulaic songs like “Blank Space” resemble others.
In one of the most surprising examples of this phenomenon, one YouTube user mashed-up six country songs at the same time to prove that they were nearly identical in chord progression and melody. While the melodies might not match as perfectly as “Blank Space” and “It Wasn’t Me,” the six-song mash-up works together as one unified piece of music.
Another pop music outfit infamous for their too-familiar music is Nickelback. They too have been guilty of using the same tricks over and over again. But unlike the country bands, Nickelback steals from their own songs. Here you can hear two Nickelback songs played in different channels.
For more amazingly identical pop songs, check out the website SoundsJustLike.com. It matches up songs from the present and past that sound remarkably similar. While it doesn’t have “Blank Space” yet, it does list another Taylor Swift song, “Haunted,” as almost identical to Coldplay’s “Scientist.”
Do you think “Blank Space” sounds like Shaggy? Or is “Blank Space” unique enough to stand on its own?
If you want more “Blank Space” mash-ups, check out this mellow cover that Taylor herself is “obsessed” with. It’s an acoustic mash-up of “Blank Space” and “Style.”