QUOTE (Tweaker @ Jul 18 2009, 11:09 PM)
Who Is It doesn't really sound that much like Ice Cap and I'm not too sure why people always thought it did—it doesn't follow a similar chord progression to Ice Cap unless it's transposed, and even then it's still not exact. Brilliant song, though.
Shade always said that Ice Cap was supposed to be Smooth Criminal; while I can notice the similarities he pointed out, I was still never really convinced that there was any direct inspiration derived from the song. What does everyone else think?
Really, also, saying the chord progressions are even remotely similar is a misnomer as well. Just because it happens to contain the same chords in the same key doesn't mean they're related at all, or else you could say that any song in the key of C minor is Ice Cap Zone. A simple I - iv chord progression can't even begin to be compared to what goes on in Ice Cap Zone
Who Is It
I - iv - I - iv - I - iv - vii
Ice Cap Zone
I - VII - VI - v7 - I - III - VII
Whats happening here, is if you put these both in the same key and match the tempos.
Who Is It
Cm Fm Cm Fm Cm Fm Bbm
Ice Cap Zone
Cm Bb Ab Gm7 Cm Eb Bb
The chords stack together creating a new chord progression. A Bb major chord is composed of Bb, D, and F. Because F is the 5th of Bb, the chord tones of the Fm chord are actually serving as extention tones to the Bb chord.
The new chord is Bb, D, F, Gm, C, which interval wise makes it a Bb9. You can do this backwards too, however the chord namings are going to get more complex.
Now lets look at the Cm and the Ab Major.
Ab = Ab, C, Eb
Cm = C, Eb, G
New chord = Ab, C, Eb, G
See where I'm going here? The Cm merely adds a 7th to the Ab chord.
Fm = F, Ab, B
Gm7 = G, Bb, D, F
This chord is rather dissonant, because it adds a flatted 9th and a suspended 4th onto the Gm7 chord.
Cm = Cm
Fm = F, Ab, C
Eb = Eb G, Bb
New Chord = F, Ab, C, Eb, g, Bb
This one has a complex name if we keep basing the chord progression off the chord from ice cap with the extension tones add by the chords from who is it, however if you look at from the other perspective it just an Fm11th chord, as once again the Eb builds extension tones on top of the Fm.
Bb = Bbm
Another point of dissonance, due to the fact that the thirds clash. The chord can actually be named, it's just when you start messing with stuff like this chord naming gets ridiculous.
The two clashing chords are why people who listen to it even layered on top of each can be skeptical of the comparison. The fact that besides that the chords build on each other is the reason why it sounds like they mesh when layered on top of each other, not because they are musically similar in any way.
As far as Smooth Criminal goes, while the comparison is uncanny, it can't be used as proof of MJ's involvement, because of the fact that even still that chord progression is extremely common, and Ice Cap, unlike Carnival Night, is composed in a completely different style than the song it's being compared to. Ice Cap is flat out composed in trance\techno\house style. straightforward, no syncopation, arranged by the entry and removal of individual parts. The modular arrangement is why it's such an easy song to remix.
That said, Ice Cap does sounds an awfully lot like that ELO song that was linked a few posts up, texturally, chord wise, and stylistically.
However, because of this similarity are we assuming that ELO composed the song or that the song was plagiarized\inspired by them? No, because it would be baseless and we would have absolutely zero evidence to prove that was the case. It's the same thing here.
Now, in defense of the Jam comparison, as you can see that by my trail of logic it should dismiss this as well. It has more merit, due to the fact that the style of the section in question is identical, and now we've discovered that sample A0, which is the sample used for the hits in that section of Carnival Night, is actually a downsampled, detuned clip taken from the same section of Jam. You can actually hear low-fi Heavy D saying "Jam" in the sample in Carnival Night.
This post has been edited by Shadix: 19 July 2009 - 12:44 AM