Oct 142019
 

Jenn Champion's The Blue Albumjenn champion the blue albumJenn Champion has gone through many musical identities, performing solo under the names Jenn Ghetto and S, and playing in a band called Carissa’s Wierd. Now she takes on another musical identity–a Weezer cover artist. Her cover album of Weezer’s first album, often dubbed “The Blue Album,” is available through Turntable Kitchen, a vinyl record club. 

Weezer’s debut album got a lot of buzz, coming out a month after the death of Kurt Cobain when the future of rock seemed poised for a change. Rolling Stone named it one of the 500 greatest albums of all time, and Pitchfork gave the original album a 10/10. So, no pressure, Champion. 

If you’ve ever been a bit put off by Rivers Cuomo’s personality, this is the reinterpretation for you. The overall vibe of this cover album is the self-conscious lyrics of old-school Weezer paired with the musical style of Tegan and Sara’s Heartthrob album. Champion’s ambitious project completely pays off; this album is excellent. 

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Sep 302019
 

Check out the best covers of past months here.

best cover songs september
Anderson .Paak – Old Town Road (Lil Nas X cover)

Given how thoroughly “Old Town Road” dominated the summer – the longest-reigning Billboard #1 in history, for those under-a-rock-dwellers among you – it seems shocking that it took until now for the first truly great cover to emerge. Less shocking: that it came from rapper/singer/drummer extraordinaire Anderson .Paak. Back in May, he performed a more straightforward version with Lil Nas X himself, but for BBC’s Live Lounge he and his band The Free Nationals reinvented it into a soul groove with shades of D’Angelo. Continue reading »

May 012018
 
jenn champion yes cover

On her new single, former Casandra’s Wierd band member Jenn Champion provides a futuristic rendition of “Owner of a Lonely Heart” by the prog rock gods Yes. It’s a desolate and eerie electro-dirge that recalls a bit of Daft Punk’s TRON: Legacy soundtrack. Though a significant departure from the Yes version, Champion’s tranquil and measured version does feature the unmistakable heavy guitar intro. In fact, that’s what inspired her in the first place.

Champion said on Facebook, “I always loved the arpeggio-ish guitar part in this song and I was just figuring out that riff and then thought it would be fun to cover.” Originally she started doing a more faithful cover, but that felt silly to her. So her wife suggested that Champion try the cover as a ballad, which Champion achieved by messing around with some new synthesizers. She said, “It was a challenge to get the cool guitar back in once I had synthed it all up.” Sounds like she nailed it. Continue reading »

Apr 302018
 
best cover songs april

April was the best month for covers of the year so far. There’s no particular reason for that, I suspect. These things just ebb and flow. But the fact remains that it was a proverbial embarrassment of riches, as the length of the list below confirms.

As always, there’s no quality difference between the main picks and the honorable mentions; a cover’s categorization is only determined by how much I had to say about it. Continue reading »