Sunday, 16 January 2011

Green or Blue

Ellie Goulding has released a cover of Elton's 'Your Song'... and the crowd go wild.

I'm not adverse to covers, but do all these whippersnappers know that she didn't write those words? She just sang them in a slightly whiney, late-00s female-indie-vocalist style. There's a fine line between "quite simple" and bland, and she's managed to trip over that line and land flat on her face. Yes, it's embarassing for everyone involved, but Radio 1 won't let me look away.

Covers are fine. Cover 'Unchained Melody' all you want, that song's been scraped clean of all sentiment like a fat child's yoghurt pot. Elton's 'Your Song' might not be a particularly 'cool' song, or even one that people listen to a lot, but you can't deny that it packs a punch. The only way you could cover 'Your Song' and get away with it, is if you:

a) sung it in another language
b) sung it with Elton
c) sung it for charity or as a joke
d) did an instrumental

As it happens, it feels as though Ellie Goulding has nothing new to add to the song, but is merely hoping that people will forget that it's been done better in the past. You don't see painters fucking about with the Mona Lisa. (Except that guy who drew a moustache on it, but that would come under clause c) above, plus he was making a statement.)

A big part, if not the most important part of creating something artistically is knowing when it's finished: when to stop refining. It's said all it can say, let's just appreciate it as it was meant to be. Leave the classics alone and get back to your synth, love.

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