Thursday, February 09, 2012

COVER WARS: Pastele vs. The Wanted, Mike & Cody vs. Nelly, Glee vs. MJ, Jayesslee vs. Wonder Girls

One of the greatest things about pop music on the whole is that it is universal and open to new expressions and interpretations. Creativity is a beautiful thing, and when an artist adapts a song that is not their own into their own style and the result is effective and captivating, I'm a very happy camper...

GLEE CAST - "Smooth Criminal"
I've said it before and I'll say it again. While I enjoy Glee's musical renditions (especially their inventive mashups), on the whole, I'd much rather listen to the original if they aren't even going to try an effective, unique twist on the material (isn't that the point?). Their recent homage to Michael Jackson had some high points, and some indifferent ones (because even a cover of Michael is still good stuff if the singers are competent, and in the case of Glee, they usually are). "Smooth Criminal" sees the pairing of the show's godsent in Nayer Rivera and rival Sebastian Smythe, with a stripped down verbal sparring match set to aggressive acoustic cellos. Oh Nayer, please release a pop album already!

PASTELE - "Glad You Came"
The adorable Pastele has lend her pipes to a ballad version of The Wanted's "Glad You Came" (and offered it up for free download at her website), complete with a techno-color video accompaniment whilst recording in the studio. The tempo is cooled off, the Ibiza-influenced synth is stripped out, and the boy band sweetness is replaced with Pastele's husky cooing & attitude-drenched delivery. So basically, it's awesome.


MIKE & CODY - "Hot in Herre"
I first mentioned Mike & Cody last month with their unique brand of 8-bit synth pop and penchant for unexpected covers (TLC's "No Scrubs"), but they have recently trumped themselves with a relaxed version of Nelly's "Hot In Herre". Yes, really. These guys have to be the kings of "What the...?" on paper, and then you hear the final product and you're jamming. I can't wait to hear what they come up with next!

JAYESSLEE - "Nobody"
is a Korean-Australian acoustic duo that has garned a lot of attention for their YouTube covers. The ladies, Janice & Sonia Lee (hence J-S Lee, get it?), are twins and are currently recording their debut EP independantly. Despite being on their own, they've garnered over 250,000 "likes" on Facebook. Their dreamy, sweet, acoustic harmony is instantly charming and captivating. They've got lots of covers to choose from on their YouTube Account including Bruno Mars' "Just The Way You Are", The Script's "Breakeven" and the (criminally underrated) Jonas Brothers' cut "When You Look Me In the Eyes" with 'American Idol' cast off Andrew Garcia (better known as that guy who did that ballad cover of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up"). But my current favorite is the balladized version of the Wonder Girls' big hit "Nobody" (in Korean!).

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