Female Vocal, Folk, Pop

Covers Week: Fleetwood Mac/The Corrs – Dreams

I really like Fleetwood Mac. They’re not the most palatable classic band with many equating them to pop groups that existed with them but there is just something extraordinary about them. Their album Rumours is hauntingly beautiful. The album was written and recorded during breakups (even within the group itself.) A few months ago, I was lucky enough to come across the album in a second hand vinyl store. The album was unopened. I don’t think you understand how excited I was at that moment in time. Their recorded version  of :”Dreams” is amazing. Heartfelt, honest and filled to the brim with their musical genius.

The Corrs are one of my favourite bands (to watch on TV!) I remember coming across them when the UK were going gaga over them. So much so that there was a point when the album Talk on Corners  charted at #1 while their older album, Forgiven not Forgotten was at #2.

This success started with this video, I mean this song. The band was invited by Fleetwood Mac to cover “Dreams” for a tribute album to the band. In 1998, the song and video came to prominence and charted at #6. The song is a total rework with the soothing violins, Andrea’s extraordinary voice and an understanding by The Corrs that they were taking ownership of the song.  The Todd Terry remix added that subtle electronic vibe which propelled the song into something just amazing. I remember being completely in love with this song from the first time I heard it. It never did heavy rotation on MTV but it was played a lot on VH1 especially during the Album Chart Show (seeing that Talk on Corners stayed on it FOREVER!) As much as I love Fleetwood Mac, I really believe The Corrs do a better version.

As much as The Corrs will be remembered as a pop band (after all, can you really call “Breathless” a great piece of music? If you say yes, I will judge you severely) but Talk on Corners was really a milestone album. If you feel like broadening your discerning music taste, take a listen to it with an open mind and see what you think. Even though their later albums are forgetable, I am really glad they released this album – the world is a better place because of it.

The imagery in the video is stunning and really worth watching. However, you are going to watch the video because they are SO hot! You shouldn’t lie to yourself that you’re watching it for any other reason.

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Female Vocal, Folk, The Beatles

Covers Week: The Beatles/Sarah McLachlan – Blackbird

So a few weeks ago, I heard a song butchered. That’s actually a bad way to put it. I have been to a butcher and I know with what precision he cuts the meat so that you deem it palatable. Rather, its like you gave a three year old a cleaver and a block of meat. Disturbing.

The song in question was Mumford and Sons “The Boxer” which leaves out the iconic “dssssh” part and sounds bad, just bad. The inner hipster in me (which supposed to tell me to love it) still hates this song. I almost cried when I first heard it. It really was so bad. You probably think differently. You’re wrong.

Over the last two weeks, I’ve been on a quest to find songs that are BETTER than the original. I did put in some clauses such as the song had to be recorded and included on a normal album (not a greatest hits) and live versions don’t really count.

That being said, I probably broke this rule already for this cover. As it is Monday, it is Beatles Day so I set myself the task of finding a song that was covered and sounds better than the Beatles. A few years ago, this would be quite easy seeing as though I never truly understood the beauty of the Beatles singing. Their songs lack the slick production of modern music but once you understand it, you cannot get anything better.

Enter the 2001 movie I am Sam starring Sean Penn and Michelle Pfeiffer. Remember how hot she was in the 90s? The movie features a host of songs by The Beatles with the idea that the original recordings would be included. Getting rights to these are a bit of a pain so instead, he recruited some amazing singers to cover these songs. Seeing as the movie was developed using The Beatles songs, the timing and tempo of these songs had to follow the original. Which is a great thing. If you listen to the soundtrack, you can pick out how great some singers are. Even though they were constrained by how they could interpret the song, some of them excelled and still made the song their own.

McCartney does the song beautifully (obviously) n this deep, thoughtful way. The simple acoustic nature heightens the message and makes the song so stunning.

Sarah does the same except she does more. You feel the raw emotion that the song is alluding to. It feels so right. It feels like a down-tempo protest song meant to give people hope after they’ve suffered continuous defeat from their oppressors. Hope still remains. It’s SO hard to admit this but I do believe she may have done a better job with this song…

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Female Vocal, Pop, Uncategorized

The Sundays – Summertime

It’s December 🙂

That’s thoroughly fantastic. It really is my favourite time of the year. As a kid, as much as school was fun, the joy, love and togetherness of the endless December held something really special. I’ve always savoured and enjoyed my Decembers. It really is such a happy time.

I think this is the happiest song to welcome in this incredible month. This song was released in 1997 and reached an honourable #15 in the UK. It’s completely happy and fun and smiley and captures the essence of summer better than probably any other song I’ve heard.

The album Static and Silence was much acclaimed as an album to listen to when you want to enjoy the greatness of love. The album has also been described as the epitome of pop music. December is a month of love after all.

For me, this is an introduction to one of my greatest loves – female vocal. Harriet Wheeler is one of the first voices I truly fell in love with. We shall explore this in the coming months. In the meantime, just enjoy this song. Play it a couple of times – you’ll thank me later.

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