Doris Troy vs. Regina Spektor – Song Parallels
One of Regina Spektor's biggest claims to fame is her unique sound -- although she's been compared to artists like Tori Amos, she's really her own artist, and she doesn't really sound like anyone else. Well, except for that one song that borrows a chunk of the melody from a soul classic...
We're talking about 'Hotel Song,' the sixth track on Spektor's 2006 album 'Begin to Hope.' Replete with disturbing imagery of a life in disarray, with lyrics about nightmares, drug abuse, and waking up in hotel rooms, it's certainly not one of her sunnier songs -- which makes it more than a little ironic that it lifts a few notes from 'Just One Look,' the song Doris Troy turned into a Top 10 hit (and future standard) in 1963.
While Spektor's song isn't a flat-out mirror of 'Just One Look,' you can certainly hear echoes of its trademark melody in the 'Hotel Song' verse, and the similarities are too strong to ignore. But aside from the handful of notes they share, the two songs couldn't be more different; while Spektor's protagonist is grappling with shame and addiction, Troy is celebrating love at first sight -- which would seem to make it more than likely that Spektor deliberately chose to copy her melody as an ironic commentary. Have a listen to the clips below and see what you think.
Listen to Doris Troy, 'Just One Look'
Listen to Regina Spektor, 'Hotel Song'