Sometimes it’s cool to take a classic song and use entirely new instruments to play it. Maybe they’re instruments that don’t necessarily fit together or fit with the original. It works…sometimes.
Using that approach, Au Revoir Simone’s cover of Don Henley‘s “The Boys of Summer” presents an interesting dichotomy. They kick it off with some very cool synth-organs, overlay those with a sweet ’80s electronic drum beat, and throw in a tambourine about halfway through. Disparate as the sounds are from one another, they fit together magically, like some crazy summertime electro Midnight Mass.
However, there’s one crucial element of the rearrangement that Au Revoir Simone swings and misses on: the vocals. As well-sung and pretty-sounding and dream-poppy as the singing may be, it’s unconvincing. That sum total of the instrumentation captures perfectly precisely what the vocals miss: the idea that the song is happening. In a song that is freewheeling and energetic, the delivery of the lyrics is precise and lackluster. That music, though, is killer in a way that some unenthused singing can’t damage too much.
Au Revoir Simone – The Boys of Summer (Don Henley Cover)
The song comes from the David Lynch Foundation Music charity album. Learn more here.