June 28, 2014

Book of Happy - Sidebar: The Cover Versions

In the modern age you know your song is breaking if it's on The X-Factor and people are covering it on Youtube.  The band Boyce Avenue has made their way in the world through a deft combination of original work, live touring, and well-done acoustic Youtube covers.  Here is how Happy sounds when they play it in kind of a rock/blues style:

I particularly like this one because Manzano omits some of Pharrell's vocal flourishes.  He knows the song sounds fine without them, and it's actually very hard to sing it the way Pharrell does without sounding silly.  Overall the more minimal treatment actually makes it a little easier to hear the rhythmic tension/release that makes the song so catchy.

There are lots of other covers, of course, and of course most are bad.  I've already stated my admiration for the Pomplamoose lounge-ish mashup, which in all candor is probably the closest approximation of my interior experience ever committed to digital video coding.

But I think the first cover I heard, and the one that got me interested in the song, is also the best.  These Detroit Elementary School kids do not need Auto-Tune:

It's not a happy song, it's a hymn.

Think I'll play it again.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home