If you are currently binge-watching the Netflix show Bridgerton, yes, that was an orchestral cover of Ariana Grande’s “Thank u, next” you heard. The soundtrack to Bridgerton,a Shonda Rhimes 1800s period piece filled with wealth, lust, and betrayal, is overseen by composer and musician Kris Bowers. Bowers worked with Alexandra Patsavas, who is responsible for the six pop covers scattered through the series. Patsavas told Parade “the choices and their respective placements are each very deliberate, and that the Grande and Swift covers specifically ‘were able to tell the musical story and amplify a female perspective.”
The Corrs’ turn-of-the-millennium hit “Breathless” is very of its era, with pleading vocals and smart and snappy snare drum that’s perfect for late afternoon summer afternoons with your crush. A new cover from Caroline Polachek, formerly of indie-pop favorites Chairlift, keeps this same romantic vibe, but has updated it with a modern dance floor sound.
Eiffel 65’s “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” was inescapable in 1999. Everywhere you went, there it was. I thought they were saying “If I was green I would die” (trying singing it instead of “dabadeedabadi”) and generally did everything I could to get away from this ubiquitous song. Now, over 20 years later, Eiffel 65’s fellow Italians Fleshgod Apocalypse have given me something to celebrate, a crazy symphonic death metal cover of the song. I didn’t know I wanted this, but I absolutely did.
Curtis Mayfield has adorned the walls of many college dorm rooms, record shops and hipster apartments thanks to his work on the soundtrack to the 1972 blaxploitation film Super Fly. Mayfield’s name and photo appear on the iconic poster just underneath the image of the Youngblood Priest – the dope dealer looking to go straight.
On Christmas Day, Mayfield’s music was heard in a different sort of film. A new cover of the 1963 hit “It’s All Right,” which Mayfield recorded with his group The Impressions, played during the closing credits of the Disney/Pixar film Soul. The film tells the story of Joe Gardner, a middle school band teacher who embarks on a journey through the afterlife after scoring his dream job as a jazz musician. The song was covered by Jon Batiste who is best known as the band leader for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.
After the year we had, it’s understandable that everyone is looking for all of the anger and resentment we’ve had towards each other to be put behind us. Indeed, the Four Songs EP from Los Angeles based songwriter Sara Noelle was designed exactly for this, featuring covers of John Lennon, Youngbloods and Judee Sill, as well as the Oasis hit single “Let There Be Love.”