Thursday, February 24, 2011

Covers and Remixes

First off, sorry for being such an erratic blogger. Stuff happens. Some call it life. Also, it's not always easy to come up with a theme for the post, so if you ever have any suggestions, there's this nifty little comment button at the bottom of the page you can use. I'd really appreciate it.

Most of the time when I hear a remix or a cover of a song I really like I hate it. Like, change-the-channel hate it since I can't stand people ruining my favourite songs. However, there are exceptions. So today you'll be getting some good and some bad music. Today we all suffer.

First off, covers. Covers I think is mostly better than remixes, since remixes can go wrong on so many levels. However, if the vocals aren't up to par, or they destroy the feel of the song it really makes it sound shitty in my ears. Sometimes I hate it simply because a girl is doing the vocals originally done by a guy. Yes, sometimes that's all it takes. Now don't get me wrong, I don't hate all covers, not at all. But these past twenty or so years people have been trying (mostly unsuccessfully) to cover great pop/rock songs in the genre of techno. In my opinion, that just doesn't work most of the time. You loose too much of what was great about the song in the process.

For example, DJ Ötzi has a cover of both Hey Baby (you know, from the Dirty Dancing movie) and Summer of '69. Now, while they're both fun and summer-y, I just don't like them. Frankly, they annoy me since they're too far from the original. I know a lot of people love those songs, but I just can't get myself to like them. Believe me, I've tried. I was tortured all through junior high with those songs popping up everywhere. Cascada also has some truly dreadful covers, like Truly Madly Deeply, but when she does her own stuff she truly shines. We all remember Evacuate the Dance Floor as one of the best dance tunes in 2009, and personally I think it was one of the best songs of the year. Her covers however, are way under par. Sometimes though, all the pieces just fit. The feel, the singer, the beat, everything. One of those songs for me is this:

Yes, I still think the original by Don Henley is the better version, but this has it's own quality about it. It's summer-y, fun, has really good vocals, and the techno beats don't overpower the song. One of the few covers where I don't even mind that there's a woman singing a guy's song.

Next topic: remixes. Now, there's a lot of really good remixes out there, but to me it seems that for every good one there's at least ten terrible ones right around the corner. I (for the most part) prefer mash-ups to pure remixes, since it brings an entirely new element to the songs, and can give you a totally different vibe than the originals did. One of the mash-up gods of later years is DJ Earworm. In case you missed his gigantic mash-up of 2009's 25 best songs, here's a little taste for ya:

DJ Earworm created a classic with that mash-up, and while I think it's one of the greatest mash-ups I've ever heard, he doesn't really bring any new elements into the mix, something of his own. The ingenuity of DJ Earworm's mixes is that he doesn't have to. He's just that good. Luckily there are plenty of people bringing their own flavour to the music though, like these guys:

To be honest with you, it's hard to pinpoint exactly what makes a good remix. I gotta tell you though, most remixes that you find on singles these days - I think they're crap. I mean, who said that speeding up a song and adding some techno beats to it qualifies as a good remix? It's just not that easy to do it right apparently. Someone that's pulled it off really well though, is this guy:

These guys have managed something almost no one ever does. They managed to remix a song to sound even better than the original. This song has more life than the original, and is also more popular (at least where I live). It makes me wanna dance, which I think is almost a requirement of a good dance mix.

To sum up: For a cover or a remix to be any good, it has to give you something more than the original did. It should have all the good elements of the original, and those parts added should not overpower the song completely.

And, as a special treat, a really weird mash-up:

1 comment:

  1. Boop a doop, 4 chords..