Will Levine

Will is currently a senior at Dartmouth College, majoring in Neuroscience and on the pre-med track. He's the editor-in-chief of Squeezebox, the school’s music magazine, publishing articles, interviews and reviews. His favorite bands include The Beatles, Wilco, Spoon, Elliott Smith, and Led Zeppelin (guilty pleasure: Third Eye Blind). Three of his favorite cover songs are Dr. Dog’s cover of Architecture in Helsinki’s “Heart it Races,” the Chocolate Genius cover of The Beatles’ “Julia,” and the Yes cover of Simon & Garfunkel’s “America.”

Five Good Covers presents five cross-genre reinterpretations of an oft-covered song.

“Karma Police” serves as the centerpiece of Radiohead’s 1997 classic, OK Computer. The beginning tracks of OK Computer find Radiohead at their most experimental to that point. From the shape-shifting “Paranoid Android” to the slow burn of “Exit Music (For A Film),” these otherworldly melodies embody the theme of disillusionment that runs through the album.

The opening notes of “Karma Police,” however, hit with a directness and simplicity that immediately leaps out. Thom Yorke’s voice weaves effortlessly through the chord changes, hardly rising above a whisper when he sings, “This is what you’ll get / when you mess with us.” It’s a remarkable moment when the song’s quiet intensity finally bursts in the second half, Yorke’s disdain turning into something that sounds an awful lot like optimism and warmth. Continue reading »

Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!

Elliott Smith’s 1997 release, Either/Or, strikes the perfect balance between the stripped-down acoustic recordings of his early career and the more fleshed-out arrangements that he would later explore. It doesn’t hurt that the album contains some of his most memorable melodies as well.

With its near-whispered vocals and dark lyrics, Elliott Smith’s music has always had a personal, headphone-music quality to it—you don’t see many summer barbecue mixes blaring tracks like “2:45 AM.” As a result, the best covers of his songs tend not to stray far from the singer-recording-in-his-bedroom model, but we’ve also included some of the more adventurous interpretations of his work. Continue reading »

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