Tag Archives: playlist

Covers

Okay, I’ll be honest here: I’m having a bit of writer’s/blogger’s block (again!) at the moment. I’ve been sitting here at my desk for roughly an hour and a half now, just hoping that the train of inspiration will allow me to board, but that is sadly not the case. She’s got a tight schedule apparently – can’t afford to waste precious time.

Oh well, I could always just get straight to my point, I guess..

Covers – as mentioned in my previous post, this form of music always interests me. I immediately gain respect for any artist who can come up with an amazing version of a popular tune.

Allow me to present yet another set of respectable musicians with respectable covers:

Birdy – Skinny Love

This cover of the indie folk song off Bon Iver’s debut For Emma, Forever Ago is completely, and utterly mesmerising. After hearing the first few piano-chords I was already hooked. The voice was what blew me away, however. Imagine how awed I was, to learn that the voice that belonged to the recording was barely 16 years old.   Jasmine van den Bogaerde, known by her stage name Birdy, learned piano at five, and began composing at seven. She is perhaps most known for winning the Open Mic UK music competition at age twelve. She released her debut album in November of 2011.

Listen here.

William Fitzsimmons – Heartless

I’d always assumed the Fray had come up with the perfect version of Kanye’s less-than-impressive Heartless. When I heard of Fitzsimmons’ however, I knew that I was not even close to right. William is an American singer-songwriter based in Illinois, but born and raised in Pennsylvania. When I wrote that the Fray had managed to establish a extremely intimate version of Heartless, I had no idea that the intimacy could be taken to a much deeper level. Fitzsimmons adds an array of beautiful guitar strums and piano chords that neither Fray nor Kanye would ever have thought of.

Listen here.

Ellie Goulding – Your Song

I’ve always admired Ellie Goulding – among my favourites are her songs ‘Lights’ and ‘The Writer’ – and upon hearing this cover, was delighted to discover that it was simply sensational. Ellie manages to remove the gentle playfulness the original had, and replace it with melancholic piano accompaniments and beautiful strings and cello. The song was released as the fifth single of her album Lights on November 12, 2010.  Shortly afterwards it entered the UK charts and managed to shoot up to place number two in only it’s third week, successfully becoming Goulding’s highest peaking single to date.

Listen here.

Willie Nelson – The Scientist

As I have never had any interest for country music whatsoever, I’d never bothered to check out Willie Nelson. After a quick Wikipedia-check here’s what I learned: Nelson released his first album in 1962, And Then I Wrote, and 50 years later managed to turn himself into an American Icon. I first learned of this cover through the Oracle (those familiar with the Coldplay Website will know what I mean) in late November of last year, and have since then played this song dozens of times on the Ipod. A terrific cover, again giving the song a whole new feel and sound. Forget the haunting piano-chord progression in the original – take that away, throw in some campfire guitar strums and you have yourself a very nice cover.

Listen here.

Anyway, this is all I have prepared for now. Thank you for reading, I hope you have as much fun listening to the songs as I did writing this post.

Cheers!

– Jonathan

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Top Ten: Covers

You know, almost every band starts off doing covers of popular songs. Mostly to gain popularity themselves, but also because that’s normally the way things go. You can’t start writing your own songs without having had experience playing somebody else’s, right? (Ok, that point can be argued, but never mind, just play along here)

Now, how to define a ‘good cover’?

When I scroll over  comments on covers on YouTube (one of my favourite sources), they are always (always, always , always) the same. ‘This sucks, the original was waaay better’. ‘Oh my god, this doesn’t even sound like the original anymore’. ‘[Insert Artist here] would shoot these people if they heard this’.

If these ‘trolls’ were open to listening, I’d point out: a cover isn’t always meant to outdo the original. Covers are (most of the time) done in tribute to the original band. When bands cover songs, they are just tryin’ to say: ‘hey, I love this song, and I want to create my own version.’

That’s what I love about covers. The feel –  It always amazes me when a band can successfully take a song and transform it into something totally new, with their own personal vibe to it.

With that in mind, here are 10 covers I definitely recommend taking a look at:

  1. Smells Like Teen Spirit

  Original Artist: Nirvana

Cover by : Tori Amos

It goes without saying that this song is one of the greatest songs in the history of music. Just play the first seconds of the song and you’ll have everyone humming along in approval. While the original is a heavy,  powerful piece with unforgettable guitars, this cover strips down the song and uses beautiful piano lines and vocals to add a whole new feel to the piece. Enjoy.

2. Feeling Good

Original Artist: Cy Grant

Cover by: Muse

This song has gotta be one of the most covered songs I know of. Adam Lambert, Frank Sinatra, Nina Simone, Michael Bubblé and even…. The Pussycat Dolls? All versions good, but the Muse cover has got to be my favourite. Be warned though: I may be favouring them simply because they are one of my top bands. You decide.

3. Yellow

Original Artist: Coldplay

Covered by: Jem

Definitely one of the best love songs around, Yellow is Coldplay’s prized gem. This Jem, however, decided to spice things up a little and turn the song into a beautiful (well, it was already beautiful) piano-acoustic piece. As mentioned earlier on in the post: *this* is how you do a cover.

4. Beggin

Original Artist: The Four Seasons

Cover by: Madcon

Ah, who can forget this funky cover. Originally performed by The Four Seasons in 1967, this song was covered by Norwegian hip-hop group Madcon – reaching #1 in the Norwegian charts. I’d be shot dead if I forgot this one.

5. Bad Romance

Original Artist: Lady Gaga

Cover by: Lissie

Okay, I’ll be honest here: I don’y know sh*t about Lissie or Lady Gaga. I do know this though: Bad Romance is one of the only songs by Gaga I enjoy, and the Lissie version gives a completely different tone to the whole song. Worth checking out.

6. Heartless

Original Artist: Kanye West

Cover by: The Fray

Kanye west is without a doubt a very talented rapper. He just lost his path with this song, however. The Fray saved it by doing what Kanye should have done: making the song more intimate, slowing down the pace, adding beautiful guitar strums. I don’t often say covers are better , but in this case the cover is.

7. Shout

Original Artist: Tears For Fears

Cover by: OneRepublic

Usually when I hear about a band who is deciding about covering a classic, iconic song, I immediately imagine them failing miserably – and most of the time those thoughts are justified. In the case of this cover however, I was given a very pleasant surprise. One of my favourite covers, it is here where we can really hear Ryan Tedder’s amazing vocal abilities. A wonderful, upbeat and fun song.

8. Rolling In The Deep

Original Artist: Adele

Cover by: Mike Posner

Okay, so early in the blog I mentioned I am disappointed with ‘modern music’ – that there is too much HipHop, Dance music out there. That’s true, but even with HipHop and Dance plaguing the radios, there are still quite a few gems out there. This is one of them. An originally gospel-like, disco tune transformed into a dance, techno thing. Another example of a good cover.

9. Mad World

Original Artist: Tears For Fears

Cover by: Gary Jules

Another really cool cover. This one has what the original arguably lacked: a deep, intimate feeling. The slow pace, attractive voice, and acoustic feel all help in taking the song to a different level.

10. Use Somebody

Original Artist: Kings Of Leon

Cover by: Lauren Jansen

A beautiful cover – I’m a fool for acoustic piano versions with pretty female vocals.

Anyway, I guess that’s all I have for now. Thank you for taking the time to read and  please do share your thoughts, leave your comments, share the post with others… your choice, dear Reader. Stay tuned for the next entry!

 – Jonathan

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Hello world!

Hmm… so this is what people call a ‘blog’. When I first read that word, it struck me as something someone would say when they had a throat full of phlegm. But apparently, it’s something that everyone (I’ve heard even dogs) has started doing – some even earn money outta this.

Anyway, I have just started this hobby, and really hope it goes well. I decided to create this ‘blog’ for one purpose, really: to share all the wonderful music the world has to offer.

There are days I just sit around and scan YouTube, click on the related videos section, and *bam* before i know it, 12 kick-ass songs by artists I  never knew even existed. And then i sit back and wonder: ‘daamn. Imagine all the music out there just waiting to be found.’

Although I have an open mind towards music (everyone has to just calm their balls every now and then and realize that good music depends on the opinion), I am pretty darn disappointed that  music today is just so full of this Country stuff, Hip-Hop and Club/Dance Music. I miss the days when people were singing touching songs, that actually had meaning, instead of songs where auto-tuned artists shout out “Kiss me! F*ck me! Paartttyy with me!” every other verse. (Don’t get me wrong though – the blog will still contain HipHop and Dance).

With that said, here’s how I’ve laid out my battle plans:

– every other day, I will post at least one blog, with at least 5 songs to be listened to

–  Songs can be both new, and old

Well that’s about it – further I haven’t planned. There’s time for that yet. I thank you, dear Reader, for reading this far, and hope to hear more of you in the future.

Note: before anyone starts hating on me, or leaving negative comments: this blog is NOT an anti-modern music blog. I write this blog simply to share with you music that you may like – if you do like it, good for you. If you don’t, well stick around for another post. There may be one you like yet.

– Jonathan

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