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Sunday is for Ironic Covers

For one reason or another Joe's post yesterday inspired me to consider what makes a truly great cover. The most obvious criterion would be that the cover has to add something to the original - usually this is simply the covering artist's unique style.
Take Iron and Wine's ever-popular cover of The Postal Service's "Such Great Heights," which works because
(1) Sam Beam's deep, calloused voice and fingerpicking on guitar contrasts well with James Scott Tamborello's electronic beats and Ben Gibbard's fast-paced tenor
(2) The Iron and Wine version involves an entirely new arrangement on guitar that suits the song perfectly.

Ironic covers tend to almost automatically fulfill the criterion mentioned above, leaving the hilarity of the lyrics and simple finesse as the deciding factors. I hope you enjoy the following tracks as much as I do.

(1) Ben Kweller - Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice cover)
Who else could make this cover as funny?

(2) Travis - Baby One More Time (Britney Spears cover)
Fran Healy's (Travis) dry vocals make the cover, and who doesn't want to hear a guy in his 30's sing the words "Hit me baby one more time" in all sincerity?

(3) Pennywise - My Heart Will Go On (Celine Dion cover)
I have a particularly deep-seated animosity towards Titanic and this song in particular; the movie was released when I was 12 or 13, and at the time it seemed like all the other kids got to see the R-rated movie. My art teacher even made us paint to the soundtrack in class. Ewww

(4) Heideroosjes - Wannabe (Spice Girls cover)
Like with Titanic, the Spice Girls hit their peak when I was in that awkward pre-teen age; some girls in my grade even lip-synced to the song at a school talent show. Now I can enjoy the song not because it's cool, but because it's funny.

(5) Rock Plaza Central - SexyBack (Justin Timberlake cover)
Take away the bad techno music, remove the edited vocals, and the song becomes not painfully awful, but hilarious.

(6) Ben Gibbard - Complicated (Avril Lavigne cover)
As Gibbard notes, "The thing I really love about that song is that I don't understand what's so complicated."

I hesitate a little bit to put up this cover because the original song is actually pretty good. Oh well.
(7) Mat Weddie - Hey ya (Outkast cover)

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3 Responses to “Sunday is for Ironic Covers”

  1. # Anonymous baris

    dowload links dont work. yousendit says you exceeded your limits :) anyway.. i'll try other ways.  

  2. # Blogger Kate

    I'll try to repost the tracks, thanks for the heads-up.  

  3. # Blogger Becky

    yay reposting! can't wait.  

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