Billboard’s woman of the year, Olivia Rodrigo, is a certified Gwen Stefani fan, and recently performed a banging cover of “Just a Girl” in her concert on May 6 on the Philadelphia Met Stage. Rodrigo met Stefani for the first time at the Met Gala. Before her performance, Olivia said “I got to talk to her (Gwen Stefani) for a while, and she’s just the coolest human in the world. I love her music so much and I wanted to play this song for you guys tonight.”
Alex Cameron ft. Roan Yellowthorn – Islands in the Stream (Kenny Rogers / Dolly Parton cover)
For a new single, Australian singer Alex Cameron, who has worked with everyone from The Killers to Foxygen, decided to take on two Kenny Rogers tunes written by Barry Gibb. One, “Midsummer Nights,” is comparatively obscure. The other – the one above – is not. Playing the Dolly Parton role to Alex’s Kenny is Roan Yellowthorn aka Jackie McLean, daughter of “American Pie” singer Don McLean.
Annie – Just Like Honey (Jesus and Mary Chain cover)
Norwegian pop musician Annie doesn’t release much music – 2020 saw her first album in 11 years – but she’s got a new EP out in September, Neon Nights. It features some originals and covers. One is the Dirty Dancing song “She’s Like The Wind.” Another is this discofied, but still shoegazy in a more electronic way, take on the Jesus and Mary Chain’s most often-covered song.
Full Albums features covers of every track off a classic album. Got an idea for a future pick? Leave a note in the comments!
Last week Gwen Stefani’s first solo album, Love Angel Music Baby, turned fifteen. In celebration, the album was remastered and reissued. Gwen Stefani even performed a medley of the album’s greatest hits on The Voice, her latest venture, complete with an appearance from Eve for her iconic rap in “Rich Girl.”
The album has plenty of haters (Pitchfork’s review was especially brutal), and the Harajuku girl motif had cultural appropriation written all over it. However, I tend to agree with the take from Hazel Cills of Vice:
What keeps me going back to Love. Angel. Music. Baby. time and time again is how, in all of its racism and spliced-up electronica madness, Stefani inadvertently made a classic. You can call it silly, you can call it bad, but you can’t deny that Stefani aced her retro hodgepodge. It’s a “problematic fav,” but it’s difficult to not sing along to Stefani’s kitschy new wave homage.
Whether you unabashedly love these tunes or love to hate them, these covers will take you back to your early-aughts self.
Anais Mitchell & The Staves – Strong Enough (Sheryl Crow cover)
For a few years now, long-running French video company La Blogothèque has been filming a series they call “One to One” at Bon Iver’s various European festivals. They blindfold one audience member and bring them into a private room for a concert for one. Bon Iver did one, and Damien Rice’s is a must-watch. Personally, that experience sounds more awkward than enjoyable – especially with all the cameras in your face – so I’d rather just watch someone else’s personal concert on video. This one is a gem, feature The Staves with Anais Mitchell delivering a gorgeously-harmonized Sheryl Crow cover.
In the Spotlight showcases a cross-section of an artist’s cover work. View past installments, then post suggestions for future picks in the comments!
Kelly Clarkson is a genuine pop idol – idol is the key word there. She found fame as the original winner of American Idol back in 2002, mostly on the strength of her amazing voice. Not content to simply rest on those laurels, she quickly put her TV show winner past behind her and sought out a bigger, different sound. Her second album, Breakaway, accomplished that; she netted the Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album and sold over fifteen million copies. That’s not bad for an album used as a statement piece about taking control of her own career.
Clarkson has continued refining her sound. At times she’s flirted with rock, as she did with the My December album. She’s indulged in country music as well, duetting with Reba McEntire on several occasions, finally leading to their co-headlining 2 Worlds 2 Voices tour in 2008. No matter what she chooses to sing, Kelly brings that amazing voice. Rolling Stone‘s Arion Berger said that “her high notes are sweet and pillowy, her growl is bone-shaking and sexy, and her midrange is amazingly confident.” With that kind of instrument at her command, any song she chooses to sing is worth listening to.
Tokyo Police Club just began their “10 Songs, 10 Days, 10 Hours, 10 Years” series and things are off to a good start. Basically, over the next 10 days, the band will cover one song for each year from 2001 through 2010. Each gets arranged and recorded in one 10-hour session, then premiered the next day. At this very moment they’re in an L.A. studio cranking away on Jimmy Eat World’s “Sweetness,” with unspecified songs to follow (options for 2003, listed on sponsor Polaroid’s website, include Train, Jason Mraz, the Strokes, and Audioslave).