Dec 222010

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 »

Oct 262010

Seven years ago, Easy Star All-Stars took on a daunting challenge: reimagining one of the most beloved albums of all time, Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, as a reggae album. This seems like a ridiculous idea, but they managed to pull it off. Seven years later, the All-Stars decided it was time to revisit the revisit. Enter Dubber Side of the Moon, a remix album pushing material that was already vastly different from the original songs further towards dubstep. While the reggae roots of the album shine through, the remixes bring the songs into a new era of digitized music.

Before I dig in too much further, I should confess that I’ve never been a huge reggae fan.  It’s been something I’ve enjoyed in passing from time to time, but not much more. However, the more I listened to both Dubber and Dub Side of the Moon, the more I found that I really could enjoy reggae. Continue reading »