Listeners like covers to expose a new meaning or feeling they missed from the original.

For musicians covering their favourite songs or artists is a right of passage. Most covers allow musicians to indulge their favourite artists of the same style. This is fine for concerts but if you are going to record a cover try something new. Most listeners do not want to hear the same song done by different people, especially when the original is better. We listeners want something new and unexpected to come out of the song. To grasp a new meaning or feeling we were unable to get from the original.

The first cover I heard that completely blew my socks off was Johnny Cash’s version of “Hurt” by Nine Inch Nails. Cash’s version is raw and gritty and exposes the pain in a very different way than Trent Reznor. It strips the song down to it’s barest roots and allows the pain of the lyrics to really shine through. Even Reznor has come out with praise of this version saying the song is no longer his.

Radiohead‘s “Creep” is a highly covered song but my personal favourite covers come from the Vega Choir and Damien Rice. Both covers are completely different from the original and each other. The Vega Choir version of “Creep” is gorgeous, allowing the words to seem less harsh than the original. If you are listening to it for the first time you almost don’t hear how emotional the lyrics are. The Damien Rice version of “Creep” is the opposite, putting the lyrics first and exposing the pain of the song. His voice also helps to show the pain is behind the lyrics. Both of these covers are great for when you want to listen to a well writen song but aren’t in the mood for the intensity of Radiohead.

As a dancer I am always looking for unique and interesting beats and vocals in songs. Britney Spear‘s “Toxic” is a perfect song for fast paced intricate dancing. So when I stumbled upon Yael Naim‘s cover of “Toxic” I was flabbergasted. Naim has taken a typical pop song and created a completely different feel to the song. Her cover is very dark and mysterious allowing for a completely different listening experience.

The music industry is expanding every day and artists should use that to their advantage. Take songs that their listeners would have never expected and explore a different sound. I personally love when artists experiment and show a different side to their music and personality. It shows the expansion of their style and their ability as well as their creativity. It can also gain them fans from different backgrounds and styles of music. Never be afraid to explore a new style or try something different, opening yourself up to something new will give you a different perspective and you may even find something you love.

Rock Pulse


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Categories: Columns, Covers, Music, Singer, Writer


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