Mar 172016

The New York Times this morning reported what they called “an exceedingly strange case of simultaneous musical inspiration”: two totally separate dance covers of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car,” released a week apart. And both are going viral in Europe. But are either of them any good?

The bigger of the two is by Jonas Blue, a London producer for whom this is the debut single. The vocals are handled by a singer who goes by DAKOTA, who actually has a great voice that is underutilized amidst the thumping beats here. Plus the tempo is so fast she sounds like the fast car herself, racing through the verses. We give it a B-.

The other is by Toptok. It hews closer to the original, at least at first – you’ll hear the original acoustic guitar line wafting through. But he adds a few more unexpected touches than Blue does, like a funky little guitar riff that snakes in and out. If you had to pick one, go with this. B+.

The New York Times story said Chapman herself “has heard, and is flattered by, the covers of her song.” Notice it didn’t say she liked them.

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