Gwen Stefani – Sweet Escape.

The song starts out with a guitar riff that has not much bass frequencies on it placed in the middle of the mix just behind the tambourine that is playing on 2 and 4 of every bar. The tambourine has a slight reverb decay on it and just before the brass section comes in, you can hear a drum sample that has alot of reverb on it and delay as well, which cuts off once the brass can be heard coming through the center of the mix. After which you can hear a high pitch synth sound that sparkles signifying the start of another section.

When the next section starts, you can hear akon’s vocals panned hard left and right and also the synths are panned hard left and right. The drums still stick in the middle of the mix. However, the bass is also seemingly panned to the left and right as well, leaving the middle section very sparse and empty. The brass section is also panned hard left and right. The kick drum/snare and the guitar and tambourine cuts through the mix perfectly with just those elements in the center of the mix, putting the guitar melody as one of the main melodies of the middle section, while the other melodies are pushed to the left and right. Akon’s vocals are very close to the mix, and the entire track sounds very compressed, where almost all the levels sound exactly at the same level (common in most pop songs) During the verse, you can hear Gwen’s vocals come in as very close in the mix very compressed type vocals. You can also hear her harmonies come in from the left with a slight delay towards the end of the syllable. The harmonies are all at the same level as the main vocal line, which appears very close to the mix. Most of the vocals are panned all over the place, giving this cool vibe to the track but still retaining the main vocals in the middle. You can hear the brass coming in and different points as well. The guitar is still placed in the center, grounding the sound down with the same intro guitar sound. Theres a new synth line introduced as well, playing a shimmering like sound that still appears quite close in the mix. You can hear akon’s vocals coming back in with a slap delay on it, and a slight EQed effect that gives this telephone like sound.

Throughout the whole second verse, gwens vocals have a slight slap delay effect, and during the second chorus again you can hear it is just the vocals driving the song. The depth of the track is really empty just keeping the guitar and the drums at the back, while covering it all up with the harmonies and vocals all over the song. The overlapping and multi-layering of vocals can be heard and also singing a call and response covers up the whole front of the mix. The song ends of with the same intro and fades out slowly with a new brass line introduced just before the fade out.


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