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An unexpected twist on some familiar tracks

4 Jan

Stereogum are currently running an article detailing their 50 most downloaded mp3’s of 2010. I’ve only had time for a quick peruse, and I’ve grabbed three which really jumped out at me. Happily, they’ve all turned out to be pretty good. Oh yeah, they’re all cover versions.

Major Lazer & Elephant Man – Halo (Originally by Beyoncé)

Suprisingly melodic, I was half-expecting a dancehall version, although I couldn’t quite imagine one. Instead Major Lazer have delivered a beautifully melodic, bleep-free version of the Beyoncé original. Vocals from Elephant Man are deep and soulful. Not what I expected but a very good track indeed!

Vampire Weekend – Ruby Soho (Originally by Rancid)

The punk of Rancid is converted into something a whole lot more pleasant on the ears in one of Vampire Weekend’s better covers.

Hot Chip – She Wolf (Originally by Shakira)

As my homemade (would you believe it!?) illustration shows, this is something of a surprising cover. You probably didn’t really need me to tell you that, but what comes out of it is something surprisingly good and tuneful. I have to say the originally sounds more polished but with a little work and minus Alexis Taylor’s wailing, this could be quite a big track in it’s own right.

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5 of the Best: Sad Songs

30 Nov

Today I’m starting a new feature, called five of the best, in which basically, I’m going to choose a certain topic, be that a feeling, a situation, or something else entirely and bring you my personal favourite five songs from it. To make things easy, I’m starting with sadness. I hope this will be theraputic. I’m not claiming these are the five best songs ever to listen to when you’re feeling a bit down in the dumps merely that these are my personal favourites.

Here goes:

1) Michael Andrews & Gary Jules – Mad World

Obvious? Yes. But who cares? This is hands down my favourite song to listen to when I feel upset. Literally everything about this song is perfect, from the beautiful piano melodies to the stirring words. I don’t think anyone could argue that this isn’t a good sad song.

2) Barber’s Adagio For Strings

Possibly even more cliched than the last choice (imagination comes later) this is probably the only song that can reduce me to tears. The one I want played at my funeral.

3) The xx – Intro

Not so much as a sad song, but a song I find useful for reflection, close your eyes and just listen.

4) Thomas Newman – Any Other Name

You may recognise this from American Beauty. The piano really resounds with me. When I listen to this I feel like I’ve just witnessed something awful and I’m stood there, watching everything move and literally not being able to move.

5) Eminem – Stan

The first and absolutely the last Eminem song I’ll ever post. I’m not trying to be controversial, but I can’t stand the guy. This is a work of art though, really can’t argue with it.

Am I happy with this? Not really. I don’t feel like I’ve put anything particularly revolutionary or new out there, but I guess these are the songs I listen to when I’m feeling shit, so that’s my best effort.