Name that style of music
April 9, 2014 1:49 PM   Subscribe

Trying to put together an upbeat playlist for running and really enjoying Pharrell Williams's Happy and Janelle Monae's Tightrope. To me they have a very similar sound/style, which also sounds like some oldies (though right now I can't think of any). Is there a name for that style?

Or just recommend similar songs :)
posted by Calicatt to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 32 users marked this as a favorite
Walking on Sunshine
Walking on the Sun
Let's Hear it for The Boy
Tell Her About It
I Will Survive
Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
posted by tilde at 1:50 PM on April 9, 2014

I've always heard that particular genre described as "soul". As opposed to "R&B" which, in my opinion, has more sultry associations, or "hip hop", which tends to have a more angry or political tone.

For some reason the first suggestion that comes to mind, today, out of the blue, is Das Racist. Which is more hip hop than either Pharrell or Janelle Monae, but has a humorous outlook and quick, upbeat tone.
posted by Sara C. at 1:53 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

To me, it's a pretty classic Motown or old school R&B sound with some fun modern touches. I frequently listen to the Janelle Monae stream on Pandora. Some modern artists who show up there with a similar sound are Corinne Bailey Ray and The Bird and The Bee.
posted by hydropsyche at 1:56 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Land of 1000 Dances is sort of similar, also the most instant pick-me-up I know.
posted by troika at 1:59 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Bruno Mars?
posted by trillian at 2:01 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

For more pure soul-revival, try Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings or Raphael Saadiq.

Edit: jinx. Changed my dap kings link for some variety.
posted by Diablevert at 2:07 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

If you're looking for that new sound with an old school feel, check out Laura Mvula -- it's a good blend of modern with older elements of jazz and soul (which I think Happy and Tightrope have in common in terms of pop sensibility):

Green Garden
posted by ageispolis at 2:13 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Fitz and the Tantrums are not exactly right for what you are looking for, but they are not wrong either.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:19 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

You might also like Miriam Makeba.
posted by Sara C. at 2:20 PM on April 9, 2014

Neo-soul, maybe.

You might like Northern Soul music, there are tons of playlists on YouTube and Pandora.
posted by fshgrl at 2:26 PM on April 9, 2014

Hey Ya
posted by cashman at 4:18 PM on April 9, 2014 [2 favorites]

Micheal Jackson Don't Stop til You Get Enough

Aloe Blacc Love is the Answer
posted by Requiax at 5:14 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some Paloma Faith songs might fit the bill too, though I don't know what this genre would be called other than "retro jazz/soul inspired pop."

Can't Rely on You
Upside Down (let it kick in...)
posted by queensissy at 5:44 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

Cee-Lo Green
posted by bunderful at 8:50 PM on April 9, 2014

If this genre ends up with an "official" name I'd like to know too, since I dig it! I would definitely say there's a revival of some classic soul music going on, especially that strongly rhythmic Motown sound. Some great suggestions already, and here are some other recent (-ish...some are a few years old) songs that scratch the itch for me:

Alicia Keys - Teenage Love Affair
Amy Winehouse - Rehab (too ubiquitous?)
Cody ChesnuTT - Til I Met Thee (less bouncy but still good)
Duffy - Mercy
Jesse Dee - On My Mind, In My Heart (not as dancey, but nice and sunny - and now with a link to the right song!)
Kraak & Smaak - Squeeze Me
Mayer Hawthorne - The Walk
Nick Waterhouse - This Is A Game
Nikka Costa - Everybody Got Their Something (feels kind of tangential to the rest of my recommendations, but I think it's a funky awesome song and had to include it)
Nikki & Rich - Next Best Thing
Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics - My Dear (not as upbeat as most of the rest here, but awesome old school sound)
Smoove & Turrell - Hard Work
The Soul of John Black - Magic Woman
Tara Priya - Rollin'
Terraplane Sun - Get Me Golden (a little more toward rock, but still in the same vein)
posted by sigmagalator at 11:01 PM on April 9, 2014 [1 favorite]

My running playlist is kinda similar to this idea. I also have

The Exciters - Tell Him (but, um, the Glee version, which is more upbeat)
Four Tops - It's The Same Old Song
Janelle MonĂ¡e - Dance Apocalyptic
Hall & Oates - You Make My Dreams (this one particularly makes me move, having seen the dance sequence in 500 Days of Summer
posted by urbanlenny at 11:10 AM on April 10, 2014

The Noisettes - Never Forget You.
posted by zoetrope at 8:44 AM on April 11, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think "soul" is what you're looking for, and when I searched "uptempo soul," I found some good stuff.

Lots of good suggestions here, though I'm surprised no one's mentioned the king of rock and soul, Solomon Burke.

Maggie's Farm
Good Rockin Tonight (a little more of a shuffle, but still bouncy)
Proud Mary (dude can do covers, obviously)
Everybody Needs Somebody to Love (the original, subsequently covered by EVERYONE)

Oooh, and Soul Meeting by The Soul Clan just feels great.
posted by elmer benson at 9:52 AM on April 11, 2014

The thing most of these suggestions have in common is a fast tempo and a strong backbeat - emphasis on 2 and 4 in a 4-beat measure.
posted by DandyRandy at 12:30 PM on April 11, 2014

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