Mandy listens to a lot of Top 40 radio, …

Mandy listens to a lot of Top 40 radio, because she likes the particular brand of “dance-able” music that tends to come on. You know the type. Being more of a classic rock to metal guy myself, it’s interesting to keep my ear on what is officially “popular”. Most of the time I end up being pretty neutral about the music: some of it is good, some of it isn’t.

Every once in a while, though, a new song will come on and actually grab me. Almost invariably the songs I perk up at are guitar-based rock, with a notable exception of the occasional synthpop single. A few of these bands are fronted by guys, but most are fronted by girls. This seeming preference even goes so far as to include a few bands that I’d typically think were a little too “hard rock” for the Britney Spears, T-Pain crowd.

Last week, this happened again when I was grabbed by Orianthi’s “According to You“. At first it seemed like another solid girl-and-guitar pop-rock song. But the song kept going and it kept getting… old school: squealing, bent-string notes all over and hammer-ons and pull-offs galore. Only then did the guitar solo actually hit, opening with a very familiar rock lick (around 2:12 in the video).

It bugged me for a while until today, I finally sat down and figured out where I knew it from. With the help of YouTube, I realized that it’s just a little 5-note snap from the beginning of the guitar solo on “Sweet Child of Mine” by Guns N’ Roses (at 2:50 in that video). Not enough of the song to be a ripoff or a derivative, but just enough for the guitarist (who is, as it turns out, the titular Orianthi and frontwoman of the band) to say “Yeah, this is playing on Top 40, but I have serious rock credibility.”

Just enough to make classic rock fans and metalheads alike stop and say “Hmmm.”

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