Today’s ‘Journaling In January’ post is going to be a bit more of an informal one. I’ve done a lot of reviews this week so, as it’s the weekend, I decided that I just wanted to sit down and write a conversational blog about something that has been on my mind for a while – covers.
I always find myself drawn to cover versions of songs if it’s one that I know; they interest me in terms of similarities and differences, and overall artistic interpretation. However, I was talking to a friend of mine a while back who told me that he dislikes covers, because the whole reason he likes the music that he likes is because of the artist: the one who wrote the track and sings it – never mind that the majority of the time the artist and the songwriter are not the same person, but I’m getting off-piste here.
I’ve included a few covers in my posts recently, and I find that sometimes hearing a different version can really change your opinion on a song; can hit you in such a way that the original perhaps didn’t, increasing the poignancy and resonating with something in you, or you might just prefer the way it sounds.
For instance, I wouldn’t call myself a Drake fan – that’s not to say I have anything against his music, it’s just not really my thing – however, I found this cover of his track Find Your Love on YouTube, sang by The Cab frontman Alex DeLeon and the voice of VERSA, Sierra Kusterbeck.
The footage – from a fan meet-up in Milan – sees the duo perform a stripped back version of the track accompanied by a single acoustic guitar, and I just fell in love with that spin on the song. The simple arrangement pushes the lyrics to the forefront of attention and the vocal harmonies highlight the emotion in the track. Hearing this cover resulted in me really liking a song that I, personally, wouldn’t have thought twice about otherwise.
I also always like to compare different versions, as I find it interesting how different artists can have such a different take on the same song. I often find myself wondering things like, ‘will they pull it off?’ ‘Will it stand against the original?’ ‘How will they incorporate their sound and put their slant on it?’…this can also make me slightly apprehensive as sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t.
Though, you can be pleasantly surprised if you open yourself up to it and give something a chance; some of my most loved songs are cover versions (see my latest ‘Tracks I’m Loving’ for proof of that.) Having said that, there are some fantastic artists out there that I don’t think people should cover, purely because the originals are so good that it would be hard for anyone to even come close.
I could go on talking about this all day, and I guess there’s not much of a definitive conclusion to come to, or a concrete ‘point’ to be made with this discussion of mine, I just find it interesting as to what draws people to certain types of music and I think I found what my friend said a bit bizarre because personally, I love hearing different versions of songs. Sometimes the strangest combinations of an artist and a particular song – that you wouldn’t dream go together – can produce something great, maybe even turn you on to a song you never thought you’d like, if you give it the chance.
There are so many covers out there that I like – that may not be wildly different from their original counterparts – but turn a song on its head and give it that little something different. What is your opinion on covers? Are there any particular covers that have stood out to you? Do you think there are certain artists that just shouldn’t be covered?
As always thank you for reading this, slightly rambly, ‘Journaling In January’ post – I hope you enjoyed it. Writing this actually got me thinking about some of the fantastic covers that I love, and listen to on a regular basis, so if you’d be interested in me posting a list of my top covers (like I did with my ‘Top 5 Artists I’d Love to See in 2015) let me know. I’ll be back on Monday.