Jul 212015
 
flock of dimes

“Don’t Dream It’s Over,” first reentered the covers stratosphere with Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande’s adorable rendition for the Happy Hippie Foundation earlier this year. Wye Oak’s Jenn Wasner (under her solo moniker Flock of Dimes) and Sylvan Esso also covered the Crowded House jam for AV Club’s Undercover series, and as much as I loved Miley and Ariana’s take, this one may have it beat. Continue reading »

Jun 142011
 

Download This scours the web’s dark corners for cool cover freebies. View past installments.

Oftentimes, when artists release free covers, you’re met with a few different possibilities. One is that there’s great variety between the song selections, but there are only a few of them. The other is that there are a ton of different covers and they’re all sort of the same. Vancouver’s Reid Jamieson cannot quite be placed in either camp, although his covers are in no short supply. Continue reading »

Feb 012011
 

By now you’ve probably seen the video of Anne Hathaway and some Hollywood-types inviting Staten Island’s PS22 Chorus to the Oscars. That video acts as a sure sign, if one was needed, that this mass of fifth graders has “made it.” They’ll be performing the 1939 Judy Garland classic “Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, which airs on February 27. Continue reading »

Nov 092010
 

Less than a year after the release of her first record, Britain’s Got Talent sensation Susan Boyle now presents the world with her second effort, a holiday release entitled The Gift. One can only imagine that her staggering level of fame, added to the tried-and-true trope of a holiday album, will lead to mad sales for the Scottish songbird. If you’re anything like me, though, you’re bound to be skeptical of anyone whose rise to musical prominence comes via a television show. And for us, the question stands: is The Gift actually any good?

Haters be damned; this woman can sing! The vocals on The Gift deliver. The legions of critics who’ve extolled the virtues of Boyle’s vocal ability were correct. Listen to The Gift; Boyle’s voice truly soars here. Take a track like “O Come All Ye Faithful.” You’ll wish your church had singers like this! The main problem lies with the rest of the sounds on the album. Boyle’s production crew essentially bury The Gift in a wash of sappy strings, overwrought piano and choirs that occasionally drown out our star’s lead vocals. The album never pushes its tempo above that of a coma patient’s heartbeat, which leads to a pretty same-sounding, drowsy listening experience. “The First Noel” breaks from this slightly to give us some crisp acoustic guitar accompaniment, thus taking its place as my favorite song on the album. Continue reading »