Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Best Covered Songs

Sometimes when you just think that a song can't get any better, someone tweaks it up and makes it auditory heroin. At other times, 'tis just an obscure song transformed into something much more pleasing to the ear. Or it could simply something as good, though different. And different's good. Here's my list of the best covered songs I've heard by far.

Better than the Originals

1. Lovesong
Original Artist: The Cure
Cover Artist: Adele

The Cure isn't a band I'd generally listen to and I s'pose I never quite understood their 'kind of music'. When I first listened to Lovesong, by the Cure,  I s'pose I didn't feel much from the lyrics when I ought to have savoured every word. Something lacked, perhaps a lil' zest, a kick or a quick shake that captured one's attention and held it captive until the end. The way it did when I listened to Adele's cover. 

The song simmered passion when The Cure performed it. With Adele's cover, 'tis a wondertastic explosion. Adele's expensive vocals was all that song needed for a reincarnation. 'Tis beautiful, every word reverberating energy, giving lustre and life. 'Tis Adele who covered it after all. Enough said, really. 

Honourable Mentions:  Josh Charles, Tori Amos

2. Safe and Sound
Original Artist: Taylor Swift feat. Civil Wars
Cover Artists: Dustin Prinz

I like Taylor Swift(my guilty mainstream pleasure), but her vocals aren't quite the best. This was one song that had huge potential, but was underplayed. I barely felt the Civil Wars presence and Swift felt rather nasal in the song. To my auditory nerves, something seemed to be lacking(the instrumentals of the song were pretty good, nonetheless). 

The cover done by Dustin Prinz took the song to the next level. It felt like a different song altogether, with so much depth and life to it. His deep vocals, guitar play and effects brought out the best in the song, giving it a more masculine feel, without taking away the vulnerability the tune held. 'Tis just... plain awesome. 

Honourable mentions: Kina Grannis', Julia Sheer, Gerald Ko feat. Bo the Girl, Tiffany Alvord and Megan Nicole

3. Single Ladies
Original Artist: Beyoncé
Cover Artist: Sara Bareilles

Single Ladies. 'Tis one of the few most annoying songs out there, ridiculously mainstream, repetitive lyrics and everything I wouldn't want in a song. Beyoncé has some great tunes under her belt but this definitely isn't one of them. 

I s'pose when one simply gives up on such a song, someone cool just comes around the corner and performs her magic on this hopeless tune, salvaging it and giving in permanent residence in one's playlist. Sara Bareilles is that someone. Her play with the vocals, from the dusky mezzo-soprano to the highest of note of her falsetto, made this tune a song. The jazzy, soulful arrangement she gave the song, along with the hint of cheek and sarcasm somehow got me to admit that I like Single Ladies(the one by Sara Bareilles, mind you). 

Honourable Mentions: None. The rest was equally as annoying as the original, alas.

4. Skinny Love
Original Artist: Bon Iver
Cover Artist: Birdy

Skinny Love's a beautiful song. 'Tis one of those songs that just delivers so much with so little showing, flashing out, and Bon Iver's a genius of a lyricist, for 'tis one of the most exquisite lyrics written, in my opinion. Though, 'twas Birdy's cover of the song that bewitched me. 

It had every element I loved in the original, along with her glorious, soulful and lingering vocals entwined, perhaps with a tad more emotion than the original exhibited. I s'pose, I am floored by her interpretation of the song. Many would disagree, claiming that Birdy might have 'destroyed' the song, but I don't think so. If anything, Bon Iver sang a story, Birdy sang a song. 'Tis preference. 

Honourable Mentions: Hannah Trigwell, Ingrid Michaelson

5. Just A Dream
Original Artist: Nelly
Cover Artists: Sam Tsui & Christina Grimmie

Nelly's version of the song is forgettable. There's nothing one could hold on to, if they ever wanted to pin the song into their memories. Simpleton lyrics, too much background music effects, heavily autotuned, I s'pose  I was left feeling nothing. 'Twas bland. 

And then came Sam Tsui and Christina Grimmie. Both extremely talented, young artists who put everything(not by Nelly's standards) into the song. Tsui's vocals, the simple acoustic-esque instrumentals courtesy of Schneider, paired with Grimmie's outstanding vocals definitely transformed the song. If 'Just A Dream' was Cinderella, then Tsui and Grimmie are the fairy godparents. 

Honourable Mentions: Jeff Hendrick, Eppic & Krista Nicole, Ryan Narciso

(to be continued)


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