Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Cover Girl

One of my Dad's favorite maxims was "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Generally, I agree, but when it comes to music, I think there are many opportunities to "fix" said unbroken things, or rather to cover an already great song. My one condition is that the cover is a fresh new take on an old favorite. I recently heard a cover of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" that knocked my socks off and it inspired me to compile a list of favorite covers.

1. "Single Ladies"
OG Artist: Beyonce
Cover Artist: Pomplamoose

This cover is so inventive! I love the clapping and harmonies. It's a darker take on it, and just wait for the bridge, it's priceless.
(If you like this check out their other songs. "Beat the Horse" and "Expiration Date" are really solid tunes.)

2."Too Little Too Late"
OG: Jojo
Cover: Grizzly Bear

This song is almost unrecognizable. It's such a departure from the original, in a good way. Jojo delivers a guilty pleasure caliber pop song, and the Grizzly guys turn it into a moody indie jam.

3. "Cry Me A River"
OG: Justin Timberlake
Cover: Glenn Hansard

I will forever love the original version of this song, but Hansards version is grittier and I almost always prefer acoustic to a highly produced track.

4."Be My Baby"
OG: The Ronnettes

Cover: Travis

This song is especially important to me because it was written by the late legend, and close family friend, Ellie Greenwich. Travis slowed it down, but it's original message is still very clear. I think Aunt Ellie, of all people, would appreciate the contemporary spin her beloved oldie. And you gotta love the wah peddle action.

5. "Boyz In Da Hood"
OG: Eazy-E
Cover: The Dynamite Hack

OK, so maybe I don't love the original, but the cover is just hysterical. It's a mellow acoustic cover of a very violent rap song. It might not be a song I listen to all the time, but it's fun every now and then to blast this in the car with the windows down... or on second thought, maybe those windows ought to stay rolled up. 

6. "Toxic"
OG: Britney Spears
Cover: Yael Naim

I totally loved this song when it first came out. It's fun to dance or work out to, but Yael Naim (a French-Israeli singer/songwriter most famously known in the US for her sweet song "New Soul") gives this an edgy, sultry flare. I didn't think a cover of this song could be that good, but this one is.

7."Naive Melody" (This Must Be The Place)
OG: Talking Heads
Cover: Arcade Fire

This is a perfect example of how a cover can not only be a reinvention of a great song, but an homage to the original artists. Bands like the Talking Heads helped pave the way for bands like Arcade Fire, and there is no better way to say thanks than this.

8. "I'm on Fire"
OG: Bruce Springsteen
Cover: Bat For Lashes

Talk about different ends of the musical spectrum! Both versions are fantastic and so different, as are the artist who sing them.

9. "Inside and Out"
OG: The Bee Gees

Cover: Feist

I love both of these, but my undying love for all things Feist might make me a little biased on this one. Instead of throwing away the 70s disco vibe of this song entirely, she makes it her own without losing the integrity of the original version.

10. "Crazy"
OG: Gnarls Barkley

Cover: Ray Lamontagne

I was obsessed with this song when it first came out. Then I heard Lamontagne's cover and immediately learned how to play it on the guitar, and proceeded to play it nonstop.

"Don't Stop Believing"
OG: Journey
Cover Artists: The cast of "Glee"
If you aren't on the "Glee" bandwagon yet, hop the f on. Like now. It's so fun and all of the episodes can be found here. This cover is awesome. End of story.

Hope you enjoy!! Until next time...