Friday, September 15, 2006

It's harder than it looks.

Around this time last year, I posted a cover of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" by Norway's Susanna and the Magical Orchestra that I really loved. (Me love a Scandinavian act who covers songs? Never!) Luckily for me, I learned recently that SATMO (my abbreviation, not theirs) released an all-cover album this year entitled Melody Mountain. Here are a couple featured on said album:

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock 'n' Roll)" (AC/DC cover)
    When this track started I had one of those freaky "I know all of the lyrics to this song but I can't place it" moments. Of course, when it got to the chorus, I figured it out, but it's refreshing to hear a cover that isn't nearly identical to the original for a change.

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "Hallelujah" (Leonard Cohen cover)
    The original is probably close to No. 1 on my list of all-time favorite songs, and it's been covered several times by several artists. Even my favorite cover by John Cale doesn't stray far from the original in terms of pace, melody and overall feel of the original, which is near perfect. This version, though, has hit me in a new way. It's unbelievably the saddest version yet, and when it ends I want more.

  • Susanna and the Magical Orchestra "Enjoy the Silence" (Depeche Mode cover)
    By the time Depeche Mode's Violator came out, "alternative" was starting to become a buzz word to describe a lot of the music I was into and my backlash started. "Enjoy the Silence" was my least favorite track on the album, at least partially because everyone and their brother seemed to love it. (Not to mention that my crazy bisexual boyfriend at the time had inexpicably declared it "our song," the concept of which just plain irked me with its lameness.) Surprisingly, I can stomach this version. Maybe I'm just in a stark, ethereal mood lately.
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