Shuffle Sundays is a weekly feature in which we feature a cover chosen at random by my iTunes shuffle. The songs will usually be good, occasionally be bad, always be interesting. All downloads will only be available for one week, so get them while you can. After you listen, discuss this week’s tune in the comments.
There’s an unwritten rule in cover songs that the cheesier the pop hit, the better the indie cover potential. By that token, Swedish sensations ABBA, the scourge of lite-FM stations everywhere, are ripe for semi-ironic tribute.
Admittedly, the most prominent ABBA cover kids are the A*Teens. Perhaps these chirpy kids should be commended on performing the remarkable feat of making ABBA tunes sound even worse than they did before, but they do discredit to wannabe ABBA archaeologists everywhere.
Arizona’s own Miniature Tigers has a bit more to offer than the ‘Teens. They’ve been named on of the “25 Best Bands on MySpace” by Rolling Stone (do you agree?) and got a recent buzz-building write-up on SPIN.com. Even praise like that may not save them when they take on the formidable challenge of redoing an ABBA song so twerpy they named the musical after it.
Known as “the song that saved ABBA” (damn), “Mamma Mia” puts the guilt in “guilty pleasure.” You get a perverse kick out of the chirpy pop bounce the first few times you hear it, but it wears out its welcome fast. The song seems truly misogynistic – ironic, since it’s sung by a woman – but it’s best not to think about the lyrics too deeply.
The Tigers clearly don’t. Their indie-pop sheen doesn’t reinvent the song so much as recast it, breathing a little more life into the insipid melody. You may get sick of the song all over again after a few listens, but I consider the ability to subdue the bile this tune induces even temporarily to be a triumph.
Miniature Tigers – Mamma Mia (ABBA) [more]
What do you think? Discuss this song in the comments section below.