SoCal singer-songwriter Gary Jules is undoubtedly best known for his cover of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.” First recorded for the film Donnie Darko in 2003, the song has had an incredible run: it’s been included in TV shows like House, Smallville, and General Hospital, as well as TV commercials and a memorable version by American Idol contestant Adam Lambert.
In Defense takes a second look at a much maligned cover artist, album, or trend and asks, “Is it really as bad as all that?”
Disclaimer: This won’t be a strong defense of any particular American Idol artist. Let’s face it, the show has produced some music that’s utterly indefensible. You won’t catch me rocking out to Clay Aiken in the car anytime soon, mostly because “Invisible” is the creepiest song ever written. But a lot of music fans are quick to dismiss Idol as the lower common denominator of pop culture (an award properly given to the truly meritless Bridalplasty), when the series possesses several redeeming qualities. Chief among them: the ability to surprise audiences with the appearance of a knockout cover bobbing in a sea of dreary copycat performances.