Tricky has a new album out. No one does breathy, atmospheric, post-trip-hop quite like Tricky (or even approaching the way he does it?).

What's really cool is he's dropped another cover. I may not be fully up with this running gag of homages (hard H thanks) to great songs (can someone tell me if there is one on Pre-Millenium Tension...?), but there is a great rock cover of Black Steel on Maxinquaye. The original Black Steel (+ "In The Hour Of Chaos"), as far as I know, (once again: "prove me wrong, kids, prove me wrong") is by none other than Public Enemy. So it was more of a political/conscious hard-hitting rap track, made over into a sung (of course by Martina), melodic punk track. Nice cover!

So, on the Knowle West Boy, the cover is of one of my favourite pop artists (possibly my number one? the mp3 stats indicate she's well up there), Kylie (Minogue).

The track is a great one, off the Fever album, which was of course a corker when it comes to electronic-pop music: Slow. This is right up Tricky's alley, breathy, atmospheric, sweaty. Of course Martina does most of the vocal but true to form Tricky's there muttering and whispering, breathing down her neck. Great new realisation of a good song. Also nice cover!

Come to think of it, I think the whole (genre) of dubstep owes something to Tricky. I'd wager he was putting out breathy and gutteral and hummy music before Burial was a teenager (?).
Here’s a bulleted list:

  • Apparently I’m getting behind on my blog posting quota.

  • I feel like I should make a music related post.

Conclusion drawn from the bulleted list:

I’m going to make a post about cover songs.

One cover of notable interest is ‘Paul Anka - Smells Like Teen Spirit’, which is obviously a Nirvana cover. It has a kind of swing beat with some trumpets and other horn type instruments. The contrast to the original is so huge that I highly recommend getting a copy to listen to (legally of course) - the change in genre of the original to the cover is really quite remarkable*. However, while being an extremely interesting cover version and well worth listening too, I found it quite quickly became annoying. If you’re familiar with Nirvana’s lyrics then you probably wouldn’t lynch me if I was to label them as somewhat complicated (replace complicated with nonsensical). Now, no disrespect to Kurt, but if you can actually HEAR his lyrics, as you can in a swing cover, then the stupidity of the lyrics becomes readily apparent and largely difficult to ignore.

“With the lights out its less dangerous
Here we are now
Entertain us
I feel stupid and contagious
Here we are now
Entertain us
A mulatto
An albino
A mosquito
My libido

Hmmm. Thanks for messing up future covers of your songs Kurt.

So anyway, who’s a Nick Cave fan? Yeah, me neither. And quite frankly his song ‘The Mercy Seat’ blows. Apparently it’s his signature song, and if that’s his signature then he needs to work on his handwriting skills (you see what I did there, I don’t even know what you call that kind of genius). There’s so much going on (noisy guitars and drums and some sort of string instruments (violins?) along with various sound effects) that’s it a bit hard to listen too. There’s no doubt it’s a powerful song though, telling the story of a man on death row waiting to be executed on the electric chair, detailing his final thoughts and worries. What would really make this song something special would be if an old-school country singer with a deep & powerful voice did a version. Well, thankfully, Johnny Cash gave us just that in 2000 on his American III: Solitary Man album. Go buy it. Or borrow it off DJ Haszari, I’m sure he has a copy.

Now, I like ‘back’ as much as the next man, unless of course that man is Sir Mix-a-Lot. According to his 1992 track ‘Baby Got Back’ he is a big fan of the ladies that have big butts (“I like big butts and I cannot lie”). I’m not here to question the validity of the statement of whether or not he can lie, perhaps he has a very serious moral code that he strictly adheres to. I’m here to tell you that the Jonathan Coulton version of the song is very entertaining. It’s an acoustic, easy to listen to version of the song that might appeal even if you didn’t like Sir Mix-a-lot’s original (what? do you have the fear of the black man or something?)

This writing in a serious manner is hard work. Screw it - I have to eat my lunch - also check out these:

Green Day – Working Class Hero (cover of John Lennon)
Easy Star All-Stars – Let Down (cover of Radiohead)
some rock band covering Army of Me by Bjork (note DJ Hazsari added this bit about Bjork when he edited my post and destroyed my artist intent)
any cover of Britney Spears (ditto about destroying artist intent yadda yadda)

* see I can talk like a cock if I want.