Jun 032020
 

Cover Classics takes a closer look at all-cover albums of the past, their genesis, and their legacy.

Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2

Jack Antonoff gives us serious writer/producer/performer triple threat vibes (a la Timbaland and Pharrell). He’s been in a variety of musical acts himself, including Steel Train, fun., and Bleachers, and been involved behind the scenes in the creation of others’ award winning albums. Just to give you a sense for all of the pies he has his fingers in, Antonoff:

  • co-wrote and co-produced some songs on Taylor Swift’s 1989, Reputation, and Lover,
  • co-wrote and co-produced Lorde’s Melodrama album,
  • co-produced Lana del Rey’s Norman Fucking Rockwell! album,
  • co-wrote and co-produced the soundtrack for Love, Simon,
  • co-wrote Sara Bareilles’s song “Brave,”
  • co-produced Saint Vincent’s Masseduction,
  • co-wrote and co-produced songs on The Dixie Chicks’ upcoming album, and
  • co-wrote and co-produced tracks on Carly Rae Jepsen’s Dedicated (including the B-Side version).

We see some of these collaborations either forming out of or being foreshadowed by ties within this cover album.

The “Terrible Thrills” tradition started with Terrible Thrills, Vol. 1an all female cover album of Steel Train’s eponymous album. Terrible Thrills, Vol. 2 was a follow-up project that again featured all female covers, this time of Bleachers’ first album, Strange Desire. Afterwards, although it does not include covers of the entire album, Terrible Thrills, Vol. 3 followed, containing female covers of four songs from Bleachers’ second album, Gone Now, as well as demos and new versions of songs from the album. (I was bummed to not have a female cover of “Don’t Take the Money.”) This cover album was only sold on vinyl, but you can listen to it here.

Every single one of these covers is great, so I had a hard time choosing just a handful to write about. But here goes…

Continue reading »

May 232019
 
carly rae jepsen popeye

Long before Disney began remaking its animated classics into live-action films famed director Robert Altman made Popeye. The 1980 musical starred Robin Williams as the spinach-eating sailor and Shelley Duvall as his love interest Olive Oyl. Upon its release, the film underperformed at the box office and earned mixed reviews from critics. Time has been kinder though, as some have praised it in recent years. “Altman imbues in Popeye a madcap mania that bares more than a few ‘Felliniesque’ touches, with its own intricate orchestration of audio-visual chaos, animated sound effects, breakaway props, and frenzied pratfalls,” writes Screen Mayhem. Continue reading »

Feb 112016
 
radiochaser-selena-gomez-hands-to-myself-demix-cover-2016

If pop songs could die, this is what I imagine their souls would sound like.

Those are the only guiding words enigmatic artist Radiochaser offers on his social media pages – and with that single sentence, he perfectly encapsulates the nature of his music.

Rather than keep the blaring feel-good vibes of the tunes he covers, the NY-based musician opts for exposing the raw emotion behind each piece, expertly stripping them down and reworking them into a haunting blend of stirring guitar acoustics and serene, ghostly vocals – resulting in chilling covers of Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen and Selena Gomez in the style of a Radical Face or Bon Iver track.

Piqued your interest? Radiochaser has mine. Continue reading »

Jul 252012
 

We first rounded up a batch of “Call Me Maybe”s back in the spring, and – surprise surprise – there have been one or two more since (shoutout Obama). We’ve whittled down the best recent additions, the ones worth overcoming your aural exhaustion from summer’s leading earworm to give these a go. Continue reading »

May 302012
 

For the past few months pop radio have been dominated by a handful of previously unknown acts who have used super-catchy breakout singles to displace superstars like Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida at the top of the charts. With their own massive single “We Are Young” sitting at number four on the Billboard chart, New York Indie-Pop outfit and punctuation mavericks fun. played an off-the-cuff cover of the ubiquitous “Call Me Maybe,” Carly Rae Jepsen‘s current number two single, on Giel Beelen’s radio show in Amsterdam. All it needed was a Gotye guest appearance to make this the perfect storm of Top 40 earworms. Continue reading »

May 012012
 

Best (So Far) finds the finest first-round covers of the latest pop hits.

To American fans of pop music, Carly Rae Jepsen may seem to have come out of nowhere with her hit “Call Me Maybe.” For Canadian listeners, however, Jepsen has been on the pop radar since placing third on the fifth season of Canadian Idol, and she’s been releasing music there since 2008. It was “Call Me Maybe,” though, that launched her to international stardom. Continue reading »