Unit 11- Context And Research


For Unit 11 I am going to compare the following songs; Only Love Can Hurt Like This by Paloma Faith and Black Heart by Stooshe. The reason I have chosen these songs is because of the context.

I will start by discussing the musical elements in Only Love Can Hurt Like This– Paloma Faith. It is in the key Bb major and has a time signature of 4/4. The song has a Motown feel and the tempo is at 90bpm.

The song follows an ABABAB structure. The instrumentation of the song uses techniques such as glissando which is sliding from one note to another. The dynamics of the song starts of loud and gets a bit louder during the chorus’s and instrumental however the dynamics of her voice changes throughout the song as it gets louder at the chorus’s and softer during the verses.


Because of the lyrics the music has a depressing feel. The slow descending piano line that repeats throughout also makes it sound sad. The loud bold brass and the string section accompanies the piano and expresses the emotion of the lyrics.


I will now look at the live version where she has a live band behind her. There are two pianos, bass, guitar, drums and also a brass section. it has the same tempo and key as the previous version.

the song has the same ABABAB structure. The instrumentation of the song also uses techniques glissando . The dynamics of instruments are loud throughout the song but like the other version her vocals change from soft to loud as she switches from the verses’s and chorus’s




Now I will look at the acoustic version. the key is still Bb major but its more slow and is completely stripped down, with just piano and vocals.

The structure is ABABAB. The dynamics of the piano becomes louder during the chorus whilst the vocals change when switching from verse to chorus just like the other two.




in comparison I will now start discussing the musical element of Black heart by stooshe. It is in the key of Ab major and the time signature is 4/4. The song has a tempo of 110bpm and this song also has a Motown feel.

The song has an ABABAB structure. The song only has 3 instruments playing during the verses which sounds like bass, guitar and drums. The part when they sing ‘figure figure’ the guitar does a single strum. The dynamics change as they get louder in the chorus. In this song there are harmonies throughout the pre chorus which accompanies the instruments. The trio reminds me off the Supremes. They all have different ranges, tones and singing styles, which make the harmonies work.

I feel as the video helps sets the 60s theme because of the costumes and dance moves and also relates to the lyrics.



I am now looking at the live version of black heart. In this version they have a live band with them. There is a guitar, bass and drums. It is still in the key of Ab major and the tempo remains the same.

The song has an ABABAB structure. I think even though there are only three instruments its still is effective and they go well together. You can see that the guitar is just a very simple strumming pattern. during the verses the drums just play the bass drum and snare and then adds in the ride cymbal during the chorus. The dynamics change when going from the verses and chorus’s.

In this live performance I thought that the chorography helped to set the Motown vibe, which also helped the singers expresses the lyrics like in the official video..


The last version I will be looking at is the acoustic version. It is completely stripped down to just guitar and vocals. it is in the same key but just a bit slower.

The song has an ABABAB structure. The thing  that differs in this version is that for the first verse and chorus its slow and gentle up until the pause before the second verse which changes up and gets slightly more upbeat. When it changes so does the dynamics as they get louder. I feel that in this version you hear more of the harmonies which makes it sound more fuller




Even though these songs may differ they have their similarities. There time signatures are both 4/4 and they both have that Motown vibe. I choose these songs because they have the same lyric theme and generally because I like the songs. In all the versions the structure f the song stayed the same.



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