Better the second time around

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Olivia Gulino, Contributing Writer

 

Cover songs are not new phenomena, but the covers that stick out in my mind are those that take a different spin on the original and, in doing so, expose some other dimension of meaning in the song. Here’s a (very) short list of some of my favorites, which I think you’ll enjoy, too.

 

“Your Love (The Outfield)” – Bon Iver: Leave it to Justin Vernon to take a classic one-hit wonder circa 1986 and make it achingly beautiful.

 

“Blue (Da Ba Dee) (Eiffel 65)” – Yellow Ostrich: This band consistently undertakes odd arrangements, unconventional rhythms and technical effects in its songs and makes them not only cohesive but effective. This version of the 1999 Eiffel 65 dance hit is no different.

 

“This Will Be Our Year (The Zombies)” – The Mynabirds: This Zombies track, made famous in the 1960s, has been covered a number of times, but The Mynabirds bring a sweetness to the already gentle melody.

 

“I’ll Never Smile Again (Frank Sinatra)” – Priscilla Ahn: It’s a difficult thing to take a Sinatra classic and add anything of merit to it, but Ahn does just that in this melancholic yet bright cover.

 

“Call Me Maybe (Carly Rae Jepsen)” – Ben Howard: I think this is the most soulful rendition that Jepsen’s pop hit is capable of, and it’s hard to fathom how such a light-hearted song can be rendered this profoundly.

 

“Kingdom Come (Coldplay)” – The Autumn Film: The addition of piano and the tenderness of the band’s vocalist add a depth to this song that even the original didn’t explore.

 

Nine times out of 10, a cover song will be more poignant or emotional than the original, and I think this list illustrates that inevitable fact pretty succinctly.

But it’s also an indication of how much depth there is in music that different minds and voices can bring to light. Perhaps Bon Iver could make even Rebecca Black seem insightful ….

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