The Hit Songs Deconstructed Wire

Feel it Still’s Standout Qualities



In our previous article, Feel It Still’s Wide-Ranging Appeal, we looked at aspects of the song that enabled it to connect with an array of audiences and find success among a diverse group of Billboard charts including the Hot 100, US Adult Contemporary, US Adult Top 40, US Alternative Songs, US Dance Club Songs, US Hot Rock Songs, US Mainstream Top 40, and US Rhythmic.

In this article, we explore some of the key characteristics that enable Feel It Still to stand out from its contemporaries and get noticed.

Atypical Short & Condensed Structure

Feel It Still possesses a structure that is very short and condensed compared to most of the songs that land in the Top 10 of the Hot 100:

  • Section Count: Feel It Still is composed of eight song sections, which is a lower section count than most of the songs that landed in the Hot 100 Top 10 during the first three quarters of 2017. Of those 53 Top 10 hits, only 28% featured eight or fewer sections, most of which stem from the Hip Hop/Rap genre. Feel It Still features an intro, two verses, three choruses and two bridges (which is an anomaly). What it DOESN’T contain is a pre-chorus, post chorus, or outro, each of which are utilized in over half of the songs that landed in the Top 10 during the first three quarters.

  • Song Length: Clocking in at just 2:38, Feel It Still is the third shortest song to land in the Hot 100 Top 10 this year. It follows Gucci Gang and Juju On That Beat, which land at 2:04 and 2:24, respectively.

  • Verse Length: The average length of a verse in a Top 10 hit during the first three quarters of 2017 was 31 seconds. Feel It Still’s verse sections land at just 12 seconds, and as a result usher the listener through the song at a quicker pace.

It’s important to note that within this short and condensed structure the listener is kept for the longest amount of time in Feel It Still’s primary “hook centers” – the choruses – which comprise 54% / 1:26 of its total composition.

Atypical Influences

Feel It Still features influences that are popular in the Top 10 of the Hot 100, such as Dance and R&B/Soul, which accentuate its ability to connect and resonate with a wide audience.  However, it also possesses atypical influences that set it apart from many of its contemporaries. During the first three quarters of 2017 (January – September), only 17% of Top 10 hits featured a Rock influence, 11% an Alt/Indie influence, 4% a retro-1960s influence, and NONE featured a Blues or Psychedelic influence. All of those influences are apparent in Feel It Still.

Influences in the Hot 100 Top 10: Q1-2017 – Q3-2017

Atypical Instruments

Feel It Still utilizes an assortment of instruments that are not commonly found in the Top 10 of the Hot 100. During the first three quarters of 2017, less than 10% featured organ or horns, and only 20% featured electric bass. But, even the popular instruments that Feel It Still utilizes – drums/perc and electric guitar – possess an atypical vintage timbre, which sets the song apart from many other hits that utilize more modern-sounding instrumentation.

Prominent Instruments in the Hot 100 Top 10: Q1-2017 – Q3-2017


To read the Hit Song Deconstructed Report Feel It Still Deconstructed, log in to your account or subscribe by clicking here.

About the Hit Song Deconstructed Report:

Our flagship report, it provides an unparalleled deep dive into the inner-workings of a current chart-topping hit, and leaves no stone unturned. Presented in a practical manner through a combination of charts, graphs, notation and commentary, the reader comes away with a full understanding of the what, how and why behind how the hit was written and produced, and gains a wealth of songwriting and production techniques to add to their toolbox. Among the many areas covered are song structure, energy, genres and influences, instruments and accompaniment, harmony, vocal production and melody, lyrics, rhymes, narrative, Top 10 benchmarking and more.