Songs Without A Chorus
Music & Culture

5 Songs That Don’t Follow a Traditional Structure

With the arrival of a new year, many people tend to create new resolutions. Whether it is working harder, exercising more, or eating more healthily, we always want to do something different. So, why not listen to songs that are different from usual? A chorus is one of the most important parts of a song, but is it really necessary? We rarely listen to songs without a chorus, but when we do, they tend to be great. These artists pushed themselves to create something that many other musicians have done before but that still astounds many listeners when listening to the songs’ structure. Start your 2022 right by checking these five tracks out!

1. “All Along the Watchtower” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience

Although the original song is by Bob Dylan, The Jimi Hendrix Experience’s cover of “All Along the Watchtower” is definitely superior, even Dylan thinks so. In an interview, Bob stated that he was overwhelmed by Jimi Hendrix’s work on the song. Dylan said, “he had such talent; he could find things inside a song and vigorously develop them.”

Furthermore, in Dylan’s booklet for his album Biograph, the musician stated, “I liked Jimi Hendrix’s record of this and ever since he died, I’ve been doing it that way […] Strange how when I sing it, I always feel it’s a tribute to him in some kind of way.” Undoubtedly, The Jimi Hendrix Experience made the song their own, and it’s become one of the most famous covers ever.

2. “Lazaretto” by Jack White

Basically, “Lazaretto” is one of the best Jack White songs out there. The main bass riff is very memorable, and also kind of reminiscent of Labi Siffre’s 1975 track “I Got The…” — which was famously sampled in Eminem’s “My Name Is” —. Although “Lazaretto” doesn’t have a chorus, it will be stuck in your head from the first moment you listen to it. Overall, “Lazaretto” is a very appealing song, and the lyrics showcase how much of a genius Jack is.

White explained to NPR that the song is “a rhyme about the braggadocio of some hip-hop lyrics, the bragging about oneself in hip-hop music. The character who’s singing this song is bragging about himself, but he’s actually bragging about real things he’s actually accomplished and real things that he actually does, not imaginary things or things he would like to do. Because sometimes you see people who […] sing from the heart, but they haven’t done anything, you know? And their lives are not very interesting or whatever. So this character in this song actually has worked very hard in his life and he’s done some interesting things.”

3. “929” by Halsey

It’s been almost two years since Halsey released their third studio album Manic, which is filled with songs that are completely different from each other. On her 25th birthday, Halsey released an emotional music video for “929” to share with her fans. The musician sings “929” in a spoken-word fashion, and it is quite the opposite of what they’ve done in her previous albums. Of course, Halsey is no stranger to poetry — having released a poetry book and recited a poem at the 2018 New York Women’s March —, so this track came out naturally for them.

4. “Steadier Footing” by Death Cab For Cutie

With only one minute and 47 seconds, Death Cab For Cutie stole the show with “Steadier Footing.” Opening the band’s 2001 record The Photo Album — which recently turned 20 years old —, “Steadier Footing” is an incredible glimpse of an incredible album. The main theme of the song is being young at a party and wondering if you’ll still remain friends with the people at the party in a few years.

5. “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes

You may wonder why “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes is on this list. You might think to yourself “I have listened to this song multiple times in sports events. I’m pretty sure it has a chorus.” Well, you’re not wrong, but you’re also not right. Technically, “Seven Nation Army” doesn’t have a chorus, but the repeated riff throughout the song makes the listeners believe there is one.

Featured Image: Reprise Records and Third Man Records

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