Saturday, December 10, 2011

Cover vs. Original

A few years ago a dance/techno-based artist known as D.H.T. came on to the scene with a song entitled "Listen to your heart". I didn't pay much attention to it since it was like most dance songs at the time, just bland and forgettable. But one day as I was driving in my car I head the radio announcer mention this song's title and I started to reach of the seek button when I suddenly stopped. This sounded different. It was a piano version of the song. I was blown away by the drastic change in tone and atmosphere the song had taken by simply stripping all the noise away and fell in love with the song. Today I remembered this song and looked it up on Youtube. In the process I learned that "Listen to your heart" was not a D.H.T original song but  written and performed by Roxette back in '89.I listened to it and I have to say it's not that bad either. I decided to listen to them both and compare what works in both songs and what in my opinion could improve.

First for you, the very first version that I fell in love with. The D.H.T. version featuring Edmee on vocals

The intro is quiet and inviting with just simple notes on the piano and then the boom of the lower keys comes in but not too suddenly. When edemme starts singing  it sends a shiver down my spine everytime. So powerful and emotional that before every line is sung, I get torn as if she is talking to me (except for the 'when he's calling for you,: before you tell him goodbye' lines. Obviously this was written for the point of view of a woman). I love how the piano progresses and evolves as the song goes on. The one downfall to me of this song is that it only stays with a piano through it's entirety excluding strings that come in on the chorus. I could see this song turning into a rock ballad by the end of the song with guitar strumming hard on each strong beat in the pianos notes. The build up of each other instrument could sound amazing but they decided to go for a stripped-down, simple version and that's good as well, especially when it moves me as much as this did.

And now for the original version performed by Roxette.

Now I can go ahead and tell you that every instrument sounds incredibly  dated, I mean it is the 80s you know. But there are a few things I hear in this song that I think should have been done in the D.H.T. piano version. How the bass drum's kick hit's at the beginning of this song is great. The chorus is how I imaged the D.H.T. verions should have been done but I don't think it works as well coming in the first chorus like it does in this version. It should be that last big chorus when the song's key changes. I love how the guitar comes in at certain lines of the song are sung as to give a back and forth feeling.  What I don't like about this song....well I said it before, it sounds dated. But I am pleased enough that I will listen to it quite often I'm sure.

Which version is better? As much as I think the D.H.T. version lacks in epic scope musically, it still has more impact in an emotional sense than the Roxette does. So that's my pic for the better of the two songs.
But if we were going by the, um, "original" cover by D.H.T. then I would pick Roxette hands down. Why? well you take a listen to the dance version and I'm sure you will understand. This is slightly different from the version I heard but it's close enough to represent what I'm talking about.
Don't get me wrong, it's not a terrible dance song all together. It's just that it has alot of those sounds and methods that were so cliche in dance music at that time. Sure you can say that alot of the dance music of today that I like follow set cliche's as well but that's besides the point. It just loses all of it's emotion on a stupid party atmosphere.

You cant let me know which version you liked best in the comments below or comment on the link you followed from facebook.