There are some songs which, despite being written in the modern day, have the power to take you back to yesteryear and these songs with a retro feel take you back in time are sure to do just that. The musical influences in many songs which have been released in the last few years, are clear for all to hear. A bit like recipes in cooking, music is borrowed, blended, basted and blanched to create a whole new dish which tastes much like something we've tasted before but that has fresh new aromas and fragrances. Sometimes this borrowing and blending is taken to the extreme and it almost feels as though you are listening to a song from another era. So in the interests of spreading the nostalgia further afield, here are some songs with a retro feel that have had that effect on me.
1 Bruno Mars, Locked out of Heaven
When I first heard this song back in 2012, I was convinced that Bruno had raided The Police's back catalogue, as it felt as though I had swiftly been transported back to a time where geometric shapes and neon lights ruled: the eighties, one of my favorite musical eras.The Police wasn't the only act from the eighties that people can hear percolating through this tremendous tune. Many also recognize musical influences from eighties' musical behemoths such as Dire Straights and Human League. This is just one of those great songs with a retro feel that immediately lifts your spirits.
2 Duffy, Mercy
Duffy is a welsh singer and she was first propelled to the top of the charts here in the UK in 2008 with the fabulous Mercy. When Duffy first graced the radio waves, she was compared to the likes of Dusty Springfield and Aretha Franklin and it's simple to see why when you listen to her voice. The 60's influences are clearly audible in her debut album Rockferry, from which the singles Warwick Avenue and Mercy are taken. The album went platinum multiple times and sold over 7 million copies worldwide.
3 Girls Aloud, the Promise
Girls Aloud sadly disbanded last year but thankfully, they have left some catchy tunes behind to appease us. One of my favorites is this song from their fifth studio album Out of Control, from 2008. This song certainly has a feel of the 1960s and quite rightly, this theme was totally exploited by the band who appeared in their music video, pulling up at an American style drive-through in full 60's regalia. And don't they all look fabulous!
4 Pharrell Williams, Happy
If you're looking for a song to lift your spirits then this recent ditty from Pharrell Williams, taken from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack, is sure to do the trick.This is the most recently released song on this list that has a real retro feel. If you think it sounds familiar then you're not going crazy, as many people have noted the similarities that Pharrell's vocals bear to Curtis Mayfield from the 60s.
5 Spice Girls, Stop
This song comes from the height of the Spice Girls' career in the 90s and shows them at their very best; fun, frivolous and completely carefree. It can be found on their second album Spiceworld, from 1997 and received favorable reviews for its Motown influences. The song peaked at number 2 in the UK charts and number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
6 Outcast, Hey Ya
Who can forget this fabulous 60's-inspired video and the song's imperative utterances which include 'Shake it like a Polaroid picture' and 'get on the floor'. This is a fabulous song which always cheers me up and takes me back to a time I didn't even experience first hand but that in many ways I wish I did!
7 Adele, Rolling in the Deep
Rolling in the Deep by Adele from 2011 is another classic example of a song which takes you right back to the 60s. With the soulful backing singers and Adele's beautiful and powerful delivery, you could be forgiven for thinking that you're listening to something by Dusty Springfield from the golden age of rhythm and blues.
These are just a few of the songs that take you back in time and that have a retro feel. Can you think of any others?
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