Much like last time, this month’s “Gotcha ‘Covered'” takes a look back at a rock song that’s become something of a classic over the years, and compares it to its cover — a modern, very stripped-back version by an artist with a vastly different genre than the original. Last month it was a Smashing Pumpkins classic. This time, it’s one of The Cure’s most defining tracks — Lovesong.
Undoubtedly one of The Cure’s most famous and beloved songs, Lovesong has always been a track that’s resonated with me. The arrangement is fairly low-key, with a mellow, but multi-layered sound. The steady, simple drumbeat pulses throughout the track, pushing us forward as the bass, guitar, and keys build upon each other, creating a pleasing instrumental with depth and complexity, without ever taking away from what I feel is the real highlight of this track: Robert Smith’s vocal performance. His voice is certainly nothing extraordinary, but there is a subtle, almost desperation behind each word that gives the song so much depth and meaning. I find myself truly believing every word Smith sings, and I feel it is this that makes the track leave such an impact on its listeners, even to this day.
22 years after the original, soulful singer Adele recorded her own version of Lovesong for her second studio album. Her bluesy, almost-jazzy cover is very stripped-back, putting the focus on her slow and sultry vocals (yet again, this song’s highlight). This time, however, what makes this a stand-out vocal isn’t the feeling or emotion behind it, but rather the beautiful, mesmerizing quality of Adele’s voice. Despite how wonderful her voice sounds, though, there is a lack of that desperation and longing that comes through so clearly in the original track, making it feel as though there is something missing in the performance. And though the slow tempo makes for a haunting and beautiful track, the song can drag at times, and feels just a bit too long.
Much as I love this cover, and am a big fan of Adele, the original wins this round (though this was not a landslide victory). There is something special about the original track that simply cannot be replicated. Still, Adele performs a beautiful (though drawn-out) cover that any fan of the original should be able to enjoy.
What do you think? Does the original really reign supreme? And what covers would you like us to look at next? Let us know in the comments!