What’s with all the umbrellas? It’s like being in the middle of Times Square during a downpour; everywhere I turn, someone is trying to sell me one.
First Marié Digby made a dent in the music world with a softer version of Rihanna’s megahit, then Mandy Moore – who plays the Verizon tomorrow – decided to give it her own folk-pop spin, and most recently Scott Simons carried “Umbrella” to the creepier side with an acoustic piano rendition. Even children avoiding the rain can get a hold of the particularly disturbing Kidz Bop Kids edition. It sounds like something out of Gerard McMann’s “Cry Little Sister,” but not in a good way.
To be fair, Rihanna isn’t the only one getting covered. Jack Ingram decided he needed to countrify Hinder’s startlingly sleazy “Lips of an Angel.” This was, of course, after Hinder themselves revamped Eddie Money’s “Take Me Home Tonight” last November. Velvet Revolver attempted to bring more rock to Talking Heads’ “Psycho Killer,” as has former Drive-by Trucker Jason Isbell on his current tour. Paul Anka threw his seriously faded hat in the ring with his rendition of the Killers’ “Mr. Brightside” on his Classic Songs My Way album, and Ben Lee toned down an entire album by redoing Against Me!’s New Wave.
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Do we really need all of these adaptations? It seems like every genre and sub-genre of music feels the need to create their own edition of each and every song on the market, tailored to their specific tribe. At least this is the case with the upcoming Guilt By Association (out next Tuesday), which promises to remake favorite pop hits into more acceptable indie-rock alternatives. Finally, legging-clad Hello Kitty lovers can appreciate the genius of Cher and Mariah Carey without losing their street cred. – Sophie Rosenblum