Here you go, kids:
Sometimes, you hear a cover song and go “buh?” This is one of those times. Take Ms. Britney, and filter her through the perspective of Israeli multi-instrumentalist Yael Naim (best known for “New Soul” from the Apple ads). Result? Crystalline music-box carnival strangeness. Yael Naim – “Toxic.”
Other songs have been covered so many times that new versions can’t really be called “covers” at all. This song was definitively done by Nina Simone (or Michael Bublé, if you’re under 25), and versions have been recorded by everyone from Muse to Sinatra. This version was done by My Brightest Diamond, for the 20th HIV/AIDS fundraiser album by the Red Hot organization, Dark Was The Night: My Brightest Diamond – “Feeling Good.”
Other covers are not much different from the original — take, for example this track from Shiny Toy Guns, which is essentially identical to Peter Schilling’s original, apart from having a female lead singer (and not being German): Shiny Toy Guns – “Major Tom (Coming Home.)”
Staying on an 80s vibe for the moment, here’s one of the many excellent tracks from Tears for Fears which got relatively little attention in the US. Tears for Fears – “Change.”
A Canadian singer-songwriter takes her name from a classic of 80s cinema, and does an album of material which varies from near-Gary-Numan-esque synthpop, through Bangles/Go-Gos New Wave guitars and songs which sound like they’d be at home on a John Hughes soundtrack? Yeah, sign me up. Apparently, this song is going to be covered by Christina Aguilera, so I wanted you to hear it before it got “XTina’d”. Ladyhawke – “My Delirium.”
A fun and snappy bit of turntablism remixing, from Cut Chemist (one of the DJs behind Jurassic 5 — and very much in the same vein as his “Swing Set” piece which I’ve posted before): Nat King Cole and Cut Chemist – “Day In Day Out.”
Retro Soul still chugs along. This one stands out because unlike so many of the other exemplars of the genre, this has a male vocalist. A Frenchman based in L.A. — I’d love to see this guy on a double-bill with Sharon Jones. Fitz and the Tantrums – “Breakin’ The Chains of Love.”
Lastly, in the simultaneous realms of Guilty Pleasure, Earworm and Abuse of an Autotuner, we have: Black Eyed Peas – “Boom Boom Pow.” Don’t hate me. Just shake what yer mamma gave ya.
There you have it. Enjoy. Copy-and-paste any links that give you trouble.