Our official list of the Best Cover Songs of 2017 comes next week. But first, we’re continuing the tradition we started last year by rounding up some of the songs it most killed us to cut in a grab-bag post. No ranking, no writing, just a bunch of knockout covers.
It’s been a minute since Slothrust was last featured at Cover Me: three and a half years to be exact. But the bluesy trio is back on our radar with a new EP of cover songs, spearheaded (pun intended) by their excellent version of Britney Spears’ “Baby One More Time”.
As we mentioned in our post on Slothrust’s version of Black Sabbath’s “Electric Funeral”, the influences and song stylings of the band run the gamut, and the tracklist of the forthcoming EP Show Me How You Want It To Be reflects that. From Sabbath to Spears, Marcy Playground to Al Green, there’s not much of a theme to the album. But if all the songs are as solid as “Baby One More Time”, the theme might just be “great covers”.
Last month, we posted our three favorite covers of Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” Maybe we should have waited – neofolk band Death in Rome have just released a very strange version that might give those a run for its money!
The first clue that Death in Rome’s “Toxic” might not be your standard Britney-covers fare came in the Facebook band’s intro: “During the work on it, the song became for us an anthem on nihilisim and the mighty Emil Cioran. Enjoy, dance, be happy, it’s all in vain anyway.” Which, to be fair, is basically the message of Britney’s song “‘Til the World Ends.” But as if that wasn’t odd enough, they included a deeply depressing quote from philosopher Cioran: “There is no other world. Nor even this one. What, then, is there? The inner smile provoked in us by the patent nonexistence of both.” And this has what to do with Britney exactly?
Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.
Long after the image of Britney Spears as a spy disguised as the world’s randiest stewardess – excuse me: flight attendant – has faded from millennial memories, the song “Toxic” will remain just as powerful as it was on first release. Still the sole Grammy winner of Britney’s career (Best Dance Recording of 2004), “Toxic” found music critics in the unusual position of falling all over themselves praising one of her songs. Some dealt with that conundrum by saying it could have been just as irresistible in another singer’s hands. In fact, it very nearly was – it was offered to Kylie Minogue first, but she turned it down. Still, the fact is, Britney delivered the goods here in every respect, and it’s little wonder that she’s since said it’s her favorite of her songs.
After years as a critical punching bag, Britney Spears has finally been embraced (or at worst begrudgingly accepted) by the cool kids. We’re seeing a lot more Britney covers from the indie world than we used to, and her hits are well-built enough to hold up under a wide variety of interpretations. The latest killer Britney cover comes from San Fermin singer Charlene Kaye, who makes “Oops!…I Did It Again” a whole lot darker.
Suzanne Vega’s “Tom’s Diner” has likely popped into your head many times since the late 80s’, when it was first released. With a simple melody, a visual storyline for lyrics, and recurring “da-da DA-da, da-da DA-da da-da DA-da, da-da DA-