In a generation brought up on a steady diet of technology, we've probably wasted years of our lives on the Great Internet. We've all discovered some pretty awesome music and some pretty horrible ones (Brokencyde?? WTF?), and with the advent of YouTube, a lot of cover songs too. In our new series Good Cover/Bad Cover, we'll share some of our favourites and for a laugh, the sorrowpuking ones too. Prepare your ears ladies and gents.
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José González | Heartbeats (The Knife cover)
Originally by everyone's favourite Swedish brother-and-sister duo The Knife, the song was archetypical of their sound - smart, playful electropop full of warm vintage synthesizers and a summer-y vibe you'd find at a beach in California.
As a fellow Swedish musician (yes he is Swedish, even with a name like that), Mr Gonzalez found it natural to pay tribute to his fellow compatriots and covered one of their songs. Actually no, he didn't so much as cover the song, he altered every element from the original and made it characteristically HIS - earnest, poignant, wistful and heartachingly beautiful. Who knew you could actually turn a typical dance song into something that you could actually cry to in the showers.
Gnarls Barkley | Reckoner (Radiohead Cover)
A standout track from 2010's In Rainbows, the original was one of rare few tracks that let Thom Yorke's vocals bloom, taking the weight of the entire song before culminating into a very dramatic wave of quiet bittersweet vigor, which was kinda rare for a Radiohead song.
In the first few seconds of the video above, you'd think that "Oh, it's just gonna be a standard cover with Cee Lo imitating Thom Yorke or something" but when his vocals EXPLODE into the song, you realize just how different it's gonna be. Where the original makes you want to close your eyes, this one makes you want to yell the lyrics. Their interpretation of Reckoner just contains so much soul and raw feeling that you could actually see the hurt in his eyes. I mean damn Cee Lo I knew you could sing, but not like, SING you know?
Daughter | Perth/Ready For The Floor (Bon Iver + Hot Chip Cover)
Bon Iver's sophomore album felt like a personal look into Justin Vernon's foray back into the world, post-log-cabin-in-the-woods in For Emma Forever Ago. 'Perth' (being the first track on the album) was our introduction to Vernon's new outlook on life; an ambitious, hopeful and blossoming number. Hot Chip's 'Ready For The Floor' on the other hand is a crazy happy track, a gleefully whimsical song about asking someone for a dance.
Just know that this cover sounds nothing like their original forms. Elena Tonra just has the ability to make everything gloomy, and with this one she combines two songs (one hopeful, one whimsical), slows down the lyrical flow and completely decimates all joy from both. The result is a very post-rock-esque mash up of the songs - extremely sensual, brooding, ethereal and strangely soothing. And really, really beautiful.
Patrick Stump | Love Will Tear Us Apart (Joy Division cover)
A Joy Division classic, and a pretty depressing post-punk song as you can tell. Such a dark, dance-y song.
We just can't get enough of making fun of Fall Out Boy (#realtalk, we prefer their older material) and how they love taking themselves seriously, even though they're in a genre replete with humor and being laid-back. In the height of their popularity in the mid 2000s, Patrick Stump decided that he should do a pop-punk-ish cover of a classic and completely ruins the song for everyone with his inability to carry a tune live. Kudos for liking Joy Division bro but just... no.
Miley Cyrus | Smells Like Teen Spirit (Nirvana cover)
Most famous and most commonly covered Nirvana song, what else can I say? Everyone who grew up in the 90's recognizes the opening riffs, the chorus, everything.
Oh Miley, how adorable. In your attempt to be 'tough' and 'edgy' and 'mature', you went ahead and covered a grunge song from the 90's and not surprisingly, wrecked it. You are the complete antithesis of everything that Nirvana and the song represents and yet you decided to sing it to your sold-out crowd of pre-teen fans who probably have never even heard of Dave Grohl. What a complete trainwreck of a cover. If Kurt Cobain had been buried 6 feet under (FYI he was cremated) he would have spun so hard in his grave, he probably drilled himself into China.
Avril Lavigne | How You Remind Me (Nickelback Cover)
Shitty song by a shitty band.
Shitty cover of a shitty song by a shitty singer.