2013 Austin City Limits Music Festival - 1st Weekend - Day 3

When I reviewed Paloma Faith’s “Can’t Rely On You” in The Week In Pop, I called it low-grade Pharrell because the chorus reminds me of Joss Stone, but it’s definitely growing on me, in part because of a slinky syncopated riff that snakes between the beat. It didn’t hit me at first, but the riff bears a striking resemblance to Franz Ferdinand’s “Take Me Out.” As NME reports, Alex Kapranos noticed. The Franz frontman called out Pharrell on Twitter earlier today:

No response from Pharrell or Paloma Faith as of yet. What do you guys think? The riff kicks in at about 1:04 of “Take Me Out” and about :34 of “Can’t Rely On You.”

UPDATE: Kapranos has apologized…

Comments (26)
  1. I mean, the notes are similar, but the context is different, the texture, etc. I really think people underrate those things in cases like this. The riff can be markedly similar without “ripping off” what Franz were doing with it.

  2. Nope, it was inspired by James Brown. Look up the song “Blues and Pants”

  3. Sounds a bit like this one also:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyDUC1LUXSU

  4. Maybe it’s inspired by it, as they sound somewhat alike, but the songs are completely different at the same time. This is more of a Blurred Lines/Got To Give It Up than an Under Pressure/Ice Ice Baby.

    (By the way, it’s crazy how far out of love I’ve fallen out of love with FF. When it came out, I loved Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action… up until their Boston show in October. During “Evil Eye,” my favorite song on the record, Kapranos completely skipped the second verse, instead opting to continually shout “Put your phone away!” to people in the audience. Total turn-off.)

  5. Led Zeppelin called. They want their riff back from Franz Ferdinand: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBku3rJ0Xe0

    • i’m your villain is so zeppelin’y and also an awesome tune. they sound great with that beefier production. love that closing solo and outro

    • Trampled Under Foot is Stevie Wonder’s Superstition sped up by 10%

      • Nice work Griffin. I was looking for that Zep song couldn’t find it. Not to mention, as Tim says, that I’m Your Villain is basically another version of the same Zep riff.

        I have to imagine the Franz Ferdinand guy is being tongue in cheek here.

  6. Oh good, I can put my litany of Franz Ferdinand/Pharrell related jokes to use now.

    - Seems like Pharrell really hates these “Blurred Lines” between stealing from and being influenced by Franz Ferdinand!
    - Looks like Franz Ferdinand might have to “Take [Pharrell] Out”… to court!
    - Franz Ferdinand will have a tough time getting this past a judge. When it comes to cases involving Pharrell, most judges tend to “Drop it Like it’s Hot”
    - They’re up all night to “Get [Litigious]!”

    etc.

  7. it’s a pretty hackneyed riff. It’s also functioning quite differently in the PF song. It’s the main hook in FF and it’s kind of background busy-ness in PF for the sake of momentum. It’s easy to imagine FF built their song around the riff and PF added it towards the end of recording to make it feel more kinetic. The key is also a 5th below in PF which gives it a different feel as well.

  8. Does Bound 2 rip off Bound to Fall In Love?

  9. They’re very similar especially the sort of count-off before the riffs start. I think Pharell correctly assumed he could safely rip them off because no one who would listen to Pharell/Paloma Faith has probably even heard of Franz Ferdinand.

  10. I can think of several songs from the past few years that sounded like bigger Take Me Out knockoffs than this, like Finger Eleven’s Paralyzer.

    • yep that was a notorious one. Paramore’s “crushcrushcrush” in the post-chorus riff sounds like they said “let’s do a little Franz Ferdinand thing here”, though not specifically a knockoff of any one FF song.

  11. Hahaha do you guys remember guitars? Weird time.

    If anything, it sounds like this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ

  12. Lest we forget, here’s “Shut Up and Let Me Go” by the Ting Tings:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tolm-07if3c

    It blatantly rips off “Take Me Out” AND the video for “Seven Nation Army” at the same time. I heard it a few times a day working for H&M back in the mid-2000s…dark times.

    • Does it hell. It uses a James Brown sample from `Blues & Pants’. This is a track that came out way before Franz even existed. A very creative peace of production from Mr Williams me thinks. No one is ripping off anyone on this track !

  13. Sampling issues aside, that’s one sweet riff to steal.

  14. Did she rip off Janelle Monáe’s voice?

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