14 Cover Songs To Make You Reconsider The Originals

14 Cover Songs To Make You Reconsider The Originals

If you’ve ever heard a cover so good it makes you forget that it’s a cover, then you know how I feel about these.
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Everyone loves a good cover song, right? The best ones are songs that mix up the rhythm of the original and make it something totally new. These kinds of covers are the ones that make you stop and look at the original song in a different light. This way, you can reconsider the lyrics and think deeper about the meaning of the song.

Don’t get me wrong, some covers are bad. (You know the ones I’m talking about.) But if you’ve ever heard a cover so good it makes you forget that it’s a cover, then you know how I feel about the fourteen listed below.

14. "No Scrubs" (TLC) by Bastille

I honestly never thought I could love "No Scrubs" non-ironically. (Did anyone?!) Then I stumbled upon this insanely gorgeous SiriusXM recording of Bastille performing it, and suddenly everything I thought I knew was a lie.

13. "Renegades" (X Ambassadors) by Whitney Woerz

Yes, this is the song you've heard in those car commercials. But not like this! Instead of the masculinity of X Ambassadors, Whitney Woerz breaks it down. She abandons the almost tribal-esque nature of the original harmony and focuses instead on communicating softness. It's a cool way to hear an X Ambassadors song, because they are normally very rough.

12. "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen) by Rufus Wainwright

I feel like I should be comparing Rufus Wainwright’s cover to Jeff Buckley’s. I thought for years that Jeff Buckley wrote the original. (Actually, I only realized that it was Leonard Cohen’s song while writing this article. Whoops.) Either way, by keeping the melody predictable, Rufus Wainwright presents “Hallelujah” as a story instead of a song, giving listeners an easier way to see the deeper meaning. And if any song deserves to be presented as a story, it's "Hallelujah."

11. "Raw Bar OBX 2002" (Everyone Everywhere) by Into It. Over It.

Okay, so there’s little chance that you’ve even heard the original of this one. But both are so good, I couldn’t leave it off the list. Everyone Everywhere’s original includes a musical overture that is over a minute and a half long, while Into It. Over It. steps right into the singing. I don’t know if either can be considered “better.” But some people listen to songs specifically for the lyrics, and Into It. Over It. offers a neat alternative to Everyone Everywhere’s long opening.

10. "Skinny Love" (Bon Iver) by Birdy

This is the song that made Birdy, and for good reason. It displays her ability as a musician and a singer, but even more than that, her unique voice and the solo piano highlight the haunting nature of what Bon Iver wrote in a way that his folksy tunes could not.

9. "Higher Love" (Steve Winwood) by James Vincent McMorrow

If you don’t like James Vincent McMorrow, you’re wrong. He is the only person I can think of who can cover Steve Winwood and pull it off flawlessly. The original “Higher Love” is so fun, but in stripping it down, James Vincent McMorrow’s raw voice and delicate melody bring the lyrics to life.

8. "Rather Be" (Clean Bandit) by Jasmine Thompson

Lyrically, this is one of the most straightforward, relatable songs I’ve ever heard. But the heavy synth-pop of the original feels too rigid and intentional for the delicate nature of the words. Jasmine Thompson does an amazing job of bringing the effortlessness of the lyrics into the actual performance of the song. (And her hand motions in the video are mesmerizing!)

7. "Clarity" (Zedd) by Chantelle Truong

It's a shame Chantell Truong hasn't made a studio recording of this song, because it's incredible. Her voice is clear and passionate, and like Jasmine Thompson's cover of "Rather Be," this cover takes an upbeat, pop-based song and allows the musicality of it to match the lyricism.

6. "I Can't Make You Love Me/Nick of Time" (Bonnie Raitt) by Bon Iver

This cover starts with just a string of notes on the piano, tossing aside Bonnie Raitt’s guitar and drums. It gives the song an intense openness and vulnerability. Plus, Justin Vernon’s vocals are so pure, it’s as if you’re listening to actual emotion instead of emotion transferred through music. And the mashup is just plain genius.

5. "Use Somebody" (Kings of Leon) by Scala & Kolancy Brothers

There's a new movement going around certain crevices of the internet that is obsessed with "haunting" cover songs. Well, this is the best example that I have heard. Kings of Leon regularly relies on beat with their music, but the Scala & Kolancy Brothers choir rejects these classic rock vibes in favor of producing a borderline creepy (in the awesomest sense of the word) feeling.

4. "I Know Places" (Taylor Swift) by Vance Joy

When your cover is tweeted by the original artist and she asks you to open for her world tour, you know you’ve made it. Vance Joy’s laid-back, stripped version of Taylor Swift’s “I Know Places” is everything you never knew you needed from “1989.”

3. "We Built This City" (Starship) by Aron Wright and Jill Andrews

(First off, please tell me you’ve seen the Starship music video for this song. If not, go look it up immediately.) Only Grey’s Anatomy could discover a cover of this ‘90s hit heartbreaking enough to induce crying. Aron Wright and Jill Andrews harmonize beautifully, and the minimal music they use in the background is a far cry from Starship’s original in the best way possible.

2. "I Wanna Dance with Somebody" (Whitney Houston) by Bootstraps

The first time I played this song on a road trip with my best friend, she told me it “broke her.” If that’s your reaction to something, most of the time that means it’s good. With this cover, Bootstraps takes Whitney Houston’s party anthem and turns it into a poignant ballad. Like Aron Wright and Jill Andrews with “We Built This City,” Bootstraps gives “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” such a new feel that it can barely be compared to the original.

1. "God Only Knows" (The Beach Boys) by BBC Music

No Beach Boys cover will ever be as good as the original. None will even come close. That being said, if any could, it would be this one. BBC Music got a bucketful of top 2014 artists together with a full orchestra to pull off this cover of the classic love ballad. And they even brought in Brian Wilson for a cameo. You can't tell me you've heard a cover song cooler than that.

It goes without saying that these covers give listeners a new perspective on the originals. It takes a competent songwriter to put a really cool twist on something already written, and these musicians certainly achieve that. If this new movement supporting cover songs means that more cover songs will be recorded, count me in.

Cover Image Credit: BBC Music

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.

mccall
mccall
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Prologue:


She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.


You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.


The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.




The Breath of Solitude


All I know

is solitude.


We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.


Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.


Solitude runs my bath,

bubbling

as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.


But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?


I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.


But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.


The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall

streaming,

not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,

rooted,

energy.


The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.


And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.


As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.


I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


mccall
mccall

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