It’s easy to have low expectations of acoustic covers of pop songs. It’s understandable that so many of them are as difficult to listen to as the originals; with the general simplicity of the originals, an artist might be quick to think they’ve nailed it. Oftentimes they’re right and they have nailed it – this, however, doesn’t mean that the cover is good. Corin Joel blows this generalization out of the water with his recent batch of covers: Britney Spears’ “Hold it Against Me,” Ke$ha’s “We R Who We R,” Sean Kingston and Justin Bieber’s “Eenie Meenie,” and Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl.”
Today marks the
7th 17th birthday of Canadian popstar Justin Bieber. If you’re a fan, you might already have plans to celebrate by watching his video for “Baby” another 472 million times on YouTube (that’s the actual view count), sending hate mail to Esperanza Spalding, or seeing his recently-deceased haircut in glorious 3-D during your seventh viewing of Never Say Never. Montreal band Code Pie have marked the auspicious occasion – and more importantly the upcoming release of their third album – with a nostalgic cover of Bieber’s hit single “Baby.”
Every Wednesday, our resident Gleek Eric Garneau gives his take on last night’s Glee covers.
Call me Esperanza Spalding, because I’m about to upset some Justin Bieber fans.
Earlier this season, when some press outlets reported rumors that Glee would spend an entire episode paying tribute to Justin Bieber, my heart sank a little. Fortunately, those rumors were blown out of proportion; instead of a whole episode, Glee gave over only a couple songs to the teenage sensation. Still, those 20 minutes or so when Bieber provided the central focus for the show’s plot created a pretty horrific viewing experience.
So it begins: Listomania 2010. Like every music blog worth its proverbial salt, Cover Me will be going list-crazy this month. The difference is, our lists will specialize in – you guessed it – cover songs. Take the typical year-end list and insert the word “Cover” between “Best” and “Albums/Songs/etc” and you have a pretty good idea of what to expect. First up: The Best Cover Videos of 2010.
Cover songs hit the web faster than ever these days, but well-crafted cover videos remain relatively rare. Sure, YouTube is bursting with webcam performances and DIY concert footage, but bedroom confessions soon grow tiresome. Well-crafted cover music videos (remember those?) come along far less often. A great video can be art on its own, playing with – or against – the audio recording to create a viewer/listener experience greater than the sum of its parts.
Below, we present our top ten cover videos of 2010. In some cases the song’s origins play an essential role in the music video; in others it makes no difference. Each brings new imagery, insight, or, in some cases, lolz to the song it accompanies. A Rastafarian astronaut shoots lasers. Apples float around a Twilight Zone apartment. Pig people fight mummy surgeons in the basement.
Check out our ten favs below, then tell us which you liked best.
“Baby” just won’t die. Justin Bieber’s obnoxious mega-hit has infiltrated pop culture to a horrifying degree. It’s the most-viewed video on YouTube. It’s inspired hilarious accusations of intellectual theft by Aziz Ansari’s obnoxious comedian Raaaaaaaandy (“Justin Bieber shot my knee!”). It’s spawned Neon Trees’ recent doowop mash-up with “Stand By Me.” Now this.
Maria McAteer and Björn Dahlberg’s piano cover is smooth and jazzy, The real find is the video though. Filmed in on the beaches of Brighton, a series of Brits lip-sync the godawful lyrics. From young punk rock chicks to bemused octogenarians, everyone rallies around the unavoidable song. It’s both funny and strangely moving. Justin Bieber: Uniting the world since 2010.
The parody is the cover’s evil twin. While a good cover keeps the lyrics and changes the music, a parody does the exact opposite. As such, much of what “Weird Al” Yankovic does falls outside this blog’s purview (though covers of Weird Al songs are always popular). His polkas, however, fall strictly in the cover camp. On every album he creates a medley of popular hits set to polka tunes. The lyrics stay intact, the music goes oompah-oompah. Sounds like a cover to me!
He has been opening the shows on his latest tour with a brand-new polka featuring Justin Bieber, Ke$ha, Kid Cudi and more. It will presumably appear on his next album as a track titled “Polkaface.” The bummer flipside is that any song included in a polka is now off the table for parody, but you can count on another Lady Gaga song getting the Al treatment.