Monday, June 09, 2008

The Crazy and the Young

Like many other music bloggers, we were contacted this week with the offer of a recording of The Kooks covering "Young Folks" by Peter Bjorn & John. I hit Hype Machine and, as I expected, numerous other blogs already had the song up. What can I say, bloggers are fascinated by hearing new versions of songs we know and -- at some point -- have enjoyed. I'm just as guilty of that as anyone.

But as it turns out, the comments that accompanied the song were more interesting than the tune itself. My Old Kentucky Blog accurately pointed out that the cover is a little on the late side:
"You remember that song that everybody liked last year? ... If I could stand to actually listen to this song anymore, this wouldn't be too bad really. Still not very timely boys."
Commenter Rich added: "[This song] and 'Crazy' should be put in mothballs for a few years."

Nobody else, it seems, could really be bothered to say much about it. Overexposure is an ugly beast and even I have to admit that the song isn't the smile-inducing gem it used to be; it's acquired some scuffs and scratches since it came out in 2006. But a good song is a good song, right? Certainly. And a fresh coat of paint given by another artist might be just what it needs. Unfortunately, you won't find it here.

Simply put, I think if The Kooks had done something really worthwhile or unique with the song, we could more easily overlook the tiresome familiarity of that whistled melody and I'd be prepared to love the song all over again. This cover, however, feels like unfortunate opportunism that would have fared much better a year ago, when people were still excited about the original song. If anything, it makes me long to listen to the original again. As an independent piece of work, it has nothing to stand on.

[mp3] The Kooks - Young Folks
[mp3] Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks

[official site] Peter Bjorn And John
[official site] The Kooks


Anonymous said...

WHYWHYWHY would you post a song you don't care for??? I say your blog needs to be put on moth balls better yet you should just eat a few...OUT! Cheers,HenryPonds

The Trick said...

3 "Why"s receive 3 answers: a) Because I liked the original and thought it would be an interesting comparison, b) because I can write about whatever interests me, c) because somebody else might like it more than I do.