The '80s and '90s will never die as long as young artists continue to keep their influencers alive in song. When news broke earlier this week that D'Angelo of all people have decided to cover Soundgarden's "Black Hole Sun", it marked one of the few times that R&B, a genre which now sadly revolves around sex instead of the blues, and grunge, which was heavy blues, made sweet, sweet love to one another.
It got me to thinking -- what four current living artists could touch a grunge track from one of the fore members of the genre? Time to dig in.
Artist: D'Angelo Cover: Soundgarden - "Black Hole Sun"
Unearthed from the ashes (or whatever remains of D'Angelo's career at this point), the funky update to Chris Cornell's picture of a world sans Kurt Cobain remains the only one on this list to actually exist. Whatever heavy layer that Soundgarden created originally has been stripped away as the crooner and imbeds shifting guitars and reworked lyrics to convey the funk.
Artist: Frank Ocean Cover: Pearl Jam - "Jeremy"
On his 2011 mixalbum nostalgia.ULTRA, Ocean tried his hand at The Eagles' "Hotel California" on "American Wedding". A daring move all things considered even when Ocean led off the album with a spiced up rendition of Coldplay's "Strawberry Swing" but considering he was brought up during the same time Pearl Jam & Nirvana traded spots for most important band in Seattle history, we figure he'd made "Jeremy" as spooky and mentally fucked up as the video was back in the early 90s.
Artist: P!nk Cover: The Pixies - "Gigantic"
Surfer Rosa remains the inspiration for Nirvana's 1993 In Utero album and the lead single from The Pixies' debut full length feels dusty with Kim Deal's vocals scratching up the right levels. Should be no problem for P!nk since most of the records she winds up releasing to radio feel like big giant "fuck yous" to anti-establishment and helping out the disadvantage. If not for some research and iTunes digging, this might have been a P!nk song in disguise.
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Artist: Lana Del Rey Cover: Nirvana - "All Apologies"
The last important Nirvana song (before that messy Courtney Love legal tiff that wound up giving us their self-titled greatest hits & rarities LP) meets the world's most talked about R&B singer from over the pond that isn't Adele. It's not the controversy behind Del Rey that makes me believe she could kill this, it's the emptiness in her voice that could match Cobain's hollowness behind Kris Novoselic's bass.
Artist: The Weeknd Cover: Stone Temple Pilots - "Plush"
In their netherworld of hazy drugs and reverberated hookups, The Weeknd are the closest thing going in modern music that have stuck to a formula for an entire year with little to no tweaks and kept everything in sync. Their latest release Echoes Of Silence features a dark cover of Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" and if they can bring that guitar heavy epic down to a specific crawl, they can surely take STP's breakthrough single about a failed relationship down the exact same way.