Monday, August 02, 2004

I'm a song written by the hands of God.

The following tracks come from a mostly charming little Irish benefit compilation called Even Better than the Real Thing, Vol. 1, which was put out by an Irish radio station and which is apparently still on the charts there. A lot of it reminds me of that Luka Bloom cover of LL Cool J's "I Need Love" in the early '90s. Maybe all Irish acts perform covers the same way. Maybe not. Either way, it's still better than the millions of god-awful hardcore or nu-metal tribute albums out there. If you feel you must have it—and are willing, if you're not in Ireland, to pay import prices—you can still find it at places like this. Volume 2 is forthcoming.

  • Maria Doyle-Kennedy (actress, ex Hothouse Flowers, ex Commitments, etc.) "How You Remind Me" (Nickelback cover)
    One of the greatest pleasures in what I refer to as my "sickness," is the discovery of a song I completely hate performed in such a way that I reconsider and come to decide that it's not so much the song that's awful, but it's the band who wrote/originally performed it that I truly despise. Conversely, one of the greatest pains related to my cover addiction is that, once I've finished listening to the intriguing cover a few times and go on my merry way about my day, it is not the cool new cover that gets trapped in my head. Instead, it's the horrifying original and next thing you know, my co-workers, friends and family are subjected to repeated Nickelback impressions as I attempt to release the demon from my brain. This is how I remind me of who I really am.

  • Roesy "Breathe" (Blu Cantrell & Sean Paul cover)
    Okay, I admit it—and I don't even know if this makes me cool or lame, since I'm practically dancehall illiterate—I like Sean Paul. And though this Blu Cantrell track would've probably had less of an impact on me had he not been involved, it's okay enough. Certainly more listenable to me than her gold-digger anthem, "Hit 'em Up Style." Roesy is, admittedly, new to me and I'm thinking I like what he's done. I've been ignoring a lot of modern Nick Drake-influenced artists lately, but this guy has such an interesting timbre to his voice that I'm very interested in checking out his latest album Only Love is real very soon. And he paints too.

  • Kieran Goss "Underneath Your Clothes" (Shakira cover)
    Irish country/folk artist Kieran Goss is apparently fucking huge in his native land, and, until now, I'd never heard of him. Sigh. I'm so American. As for Shakira, I must admit I remained intrigued with her (and her hypnotizing ass shaking) even when she flicked her switch from Spanish angry-girl alt folk rock to English dance pop. Most likely because it's not often that English-language dance pop has lyrics like "lucky my breasts are small and humble so you don't confuse them with mountains." [See and hear the track below.] After listening to this halfway decent cover, however, I always get the Indigo Girls' "Closer to Fine" stuck in my head. Seriously, do their intros sound exactly alike or am I going crazy?

  • Mundy "Wherever Whenever" (Shakira cover)
    Can't get enough Shakira covers? Neither can I or Irish folk stars, it would seem. I once took a Mundy promo home from work, gave it a listen, and promptly dubbed it borecore. I'm not sure my stance has changed, but I do enjoy a nice foreign mope singing about the aforementioned small breasts. Scarily enough, Mundy (I think) also recorded a poppier version of this song that I found whose lyrics were altered so they were about, presumably, football (read: soccer). Um. That's just weird.
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