A brace of contemporary covers for you, well from last year anyway.
First up are the Mystery Jets with their cover of a Leonna Lewis song, no wait, come back it is rather good. I hadn’t heard the original or hadn’t been aware that I had until fairly recently as I’m strictly a radio’s 4 & 6 person. I caught it while at my parents house, who have Murdoch TV and when I’m there I tend to flick through the music channels much to the chagrin of both my parents and M who wants to watch Spongebob or the Clone Wars. I never thought that this would happen to me, shock horror, but I have to admit that I quite liked what I heard a track by a TV talentless show winner. Musical snobbery aside, it is a good track but whether it warrants being the biggest selling single worldwide in 2008 is an argument for another day. Anyway, I think that the Mystery Jets, an indie band from London do an ever better version.
Mystery Jets – Bleeding Love
Secondly we have a duet from Florence (without the Machine)and Kid Harpoon covering a Bruce Springsteen song.
In my spotty youth I loved Springsteen, The River and Nebraska were albums that my mate Ben would play all the time. Then came Born In The USA and I have to admit that even before Reagan appropriated the song for his re-election campaign I felt uncomfortable with the album. There was something about it that just put me off. From the first time I heard Born In The USA I didn’t like the song. I was an earnest left wing anti Pershing and Cruise missile campaigner so anything that was so in your face proud to be an American ( or so I foolishly misinterpreted) as this song seemed, was guaranteed to get my blood boiling.
I think Born In The USA is the album that created stadium rock. I realise that there had been many stadium gigs before this but I do believe that this album was the blueprint for all those bands who have since sat down and intentionally written albums that would sound good in a stadium and for that I think Springsteen has a lot to answer for.
I’m digressing here but the point is that when I first heard I’m Going Down by Florence & Kid Harpoon the song was vaguely familiar but I would never have remembered that it came from Born In The USA, if it had not been pointed out by a friend. The reason being that even though I listen to Sprinsteen quite frequently, I think that I may have played I’m On Fire or My Hometown from that album but would never even think of playing the whole thing so had completely forgotten that there are indeed some great tracks on it.
The stripped down approach which Florence and Kid Harpoon take brings out the essence of the track and something you could imagine Springsteen himself approving of. Strangely enough, Catherine Feeny did something similar to I’m On Fire, another track from Born In The USA.
Florence & Kid Harpoon – I’m Going Down