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Love Me Like You Do Deconstructed

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Released as the lead single from her highly anticipated album 1989, Shake It Off finds Taylor Swift completing her transformation into a mainstream Pop superstar, all together forgoing her Country roots. This article explores one of the song’s many key qualities – the nature of the storyline and lyrics.

Featured within the Fifty Shades Of Grey movie and sung by Ellie Goulding, Love Me Like You Do has gone on to become a global phenomenon. To date the song has charted within the top 10 on almost 50 charts throughout the world, hitting #1 on over 30.

The writing team responsible for its success is Max Martin, Savan Kotecha, Tove Lo, Ilya and Ali Payami. As you would expect from this team of A-list hitmakers, the song is primed for maximum impact and success.

What follows are highlights extracted from our Love me Like You Do Deconstructed report that illustrate some of the compositional elements that that helped propel Love Me Like You Do to the top of the charts throughout the world.

[Header 2 header=”Genre Blend & Trend Capitalization”]

Love Me Like You Do features a fusion of Electropop, Ballad/Power Ballad, and Retro 1980s influences within the mix.  The retro element, which is put into effect through the instrumentation, enables the song to capitalize on the 1980s trend that is currently popular in the mainstream.  The song is then balanced with modern production and vocal qualities, keeping the song from coming across as a period piece.

[Header 2 header=”“Wait For It” Moment”]

The prolonged lull that occurs within the second pre-chorus, between the third and forth lines, creates accentuated tension and anticipation. This “wait for it moment” enables the song’s “grand finale” to hit with increased perceived impact:

“My head’s spinnin’ around I can’t see clear no more…<WHOLE REST – Wait for it!>.What are you waiting for?”  “Love me like you do…”

[Header 2 header=”Strong Chorus”]

Love Me Like You Do’s chorus is exceptionally strong and effective.  It possesses three of the most important traits found within hit song choruses:

  • It adheres to the K.I.S.S. principal (keep it simple and singable)
  • It features copious amounts of repetition to get the section firmly ingrained within the listener’s head.  Just enough contrast is imparted to prevent the section from becoming overly monotonous.
  • The section features creatively sung lyrics, one of which is connected to the title.  This takes the engagement factor and infectious nature of the section, and the song, to the next level.

“So love me like you do, lo-lo-love me like you do
Love me like you do, lo-lo-love me like you do
Touch me like you do, tou-tou-touch me like you do
What are you wait-ing for?”

[Header 2 header=”“Like” Section Repetition & Contrast”]

Typically in mainstream hits the general characteristics of the pre-chorus and chorus remain pretty much the same throughout the song.  However, that’s not the case here:

  • The first pre-chorus features a “full band backing,” while the second features a sparse, breakdown, serene type vibe.
  • The first chorus features a breakdown, serene type vibe while the latter two feature an intense, excitement laden full band backing.

Both section’s contrasting nature is balanced out by the repetition of the general chord progression and vocal melody, which enables each to get firmly ingrained within the listener’s head.   Additionally, note that the sectional contrast is well warranted considering that the song doesn’t contain a bridge, which typically provides the most stringent departure relative to the other sections.

[Header 2 header=”Effective Intro”]

Clocking in at 20-seconds, Love Me Like You Do’s intro is quite long compared to most mainstream hits.  However, it’s diverse  enough to keep the listener engaged throughout.  In this case it’s achieved by the evolving nature of the progression (i.e. it doesn’t feature the repetition of a primary hook as found within other hits), and the five-second synth/drum transition into the first verse.

  • Segment 1:  0:00 – 0:05:  Ab – Eb – Ab
  • Segment 2:  0:06 – 0:09:  Sustained Ab
  • Segment 3:  0:10 – 0:15:  Db – Eb – Fm7
  • Segment 4:  0:16 – 0:20:  Synth swell + drums enter the mix

As you can see, a shift occurs right around the five, ten and fifteen second marks, which keeps the section as a whole engaging for the listener. Additionally, the intro perfectly establishes the mood and grabs the listener’s attention in an airplay environment due to its “non-typical” nature.

These are just a few of the factors that make Love Me Like You Do so infectious, engaging and memorable.  For a comprehensive review of everything that contributed to the song’s success, be sure to read our Love Me Like You Do Deconstructed Report.

Hit Songs Deconstructed PRO subscribers can access the full report by clicking here.  Not a PRO subscriber?  Click here to find out what a PRO subscription includes.

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