Covers are tricky. If you don’t do justice to the song, you run the risk of being in the shadow of the original artist. Often the better covers are those that do something a little different, but those that revel in the awesomeness of the original can be enjoyable too. I feel the need to share some of my favourites in a possibly reoccurring segment known as Duck and Cover, because I thought that was clever.

The Dismemberment Plan – Close to Me

This is a cover of one of the Cure’s more upbeat songs (they exist, I assure you), and the reason I started listening to the Dismemberment Plan. Gone are the handclaps, saxophones and Robert Smith, in are guitars, bongos, Travis Morrison and a couple of DJs. Record-scratching is probably not the first thing to come to mind when doing a cover of this song, but honestly, it adds so much to the atmosphere that I prefer this to the original. This is a great example of where going into a completely different direction works.

Radiohead – Ceremony

Performed during a webcast at the end of last year, this is a fairly straight-forward cover of New Order’s first single. Nothing is really altered from the original song, but it is a solid rendition no matter how you look at it. Plus it sent me on a 4-month New Order bender that hasn’t ended yet.

Final Fantasy – Fantasy

I never thought I’d willingly be listening to a Mariah Carey song, but Owen Pallett has done it. In a surprisingly faithful and un-ironic performance with only his voice, violin, and a loop pedal. You’ve probably already heard this, but it needs to be heard again.

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— , March 9, 2008    Comments Off on Duck and Cover