All us internet-saavy music fans cruise youtube looking for that golden video. A guy or girl sitting in their room, playing ,and just brimming with talent and it-ness. Well, we found one:
A girl — We know now she’s emerging artist and Taiwanese music producer’s daughter Joanna Wang — singing a classic song in an original and stylish way. Compared to the Beatles’ original, her tempo is slower with a feel that’s more contemplative and mellow. She completes the effect with minor tweaks to the melody and tops it all off with a dark, smokey folk-indie vocal. In her hands the song takes on a new life. We’re compelled to love the Beatles even more, and we have a new awesome video to show our friends.
Why are great covers so hard to find? The same reason good performances in general are hard to find: most artists aren’t that great.
Cover versions usually fail in one of two ways: they are either watered down knockoffs or infuriating bastardizations.
Compared to the original, lots of covers are similar, but a little worse. This kind of record is pointless at best or a heartless cash-in at worst:
The opposite kind of fail is messing too much with what works. We’re all for originality, but that’s no excuse for twisting a classic song to fit into one’s narrow stylistic niche
And finally some beautiful, goldilocks covers like the one above. In these, the artist lovingly re-purposes a great song to fit his or her style and ends up with music that’s new and interesting while still benefiting from he extremely high quality songwriting of the original.