When it comes to doing covers of famous songs, it’s important to have an original perspective on them.
Certain songs have seemed into the cultural consciousness so much that it’s hard to imagine them done any other way.
There’s plenty of music out there that takes us back to a specific time and place, and it takes a very special artist to break those associations and to create something new. Still, a great cover can breathe new life into an old song and show us new ways to appreciate it.
And sometimes, an entire musical groups purpose is to do that over and over again.
At least, that’s the main artistic project behind old-fashioned group Postmodern Jukebox.
As their name suggests, the group takes contemporary, popular songs and spins them into something new and unusual.
Still, the way they reinterpret their songs in performances hearkens back to the past, to old American art forms like jazz, bebop and soul. Though the group has plenty of performances online that have already gone viral, one in particular has been capturing the internet’s attention.
That performance is a reinterpretation of Radiohead’s ’90’s classic, “Creep.”
For those who know the original, “Creep” is a distinctive song with a kind of garage rock, indie sound to it that belongs to the ‘90s.
The song originally became popular for it’s strange, otherworldly sound and its dark lyrics about isolation and estrangement. Still, Postmodern Jukebox gives the entire thing a complete makeover.
As the video begins, it’s clear that this version starts in a somewhat more hopeful, sad or wistful tone compared to the original. While the original vocals were creepy or fragile, this version’s are much more robust and jazz-influenced.
By the time the group hits the chorus, the lead vocalist’s voice soars and the horns come in.
Although it’s not easy to cover a song like this without being derivative, so far they’ve completely mastered it.
As the song continues, the horns drop out again to allow room for the vocals again. As it continues, the energy builds up again and comes to a huge crescendo halfway through.
Although the original song has a part where the vocals get much higher, the vocalist in this version gives a truly virtuosic performance! Her voice cracks, sails and comes back down once again. Before it’s over, the group brings it back down to a low, intimate level.
After a few more vocalizations, and one last burst of music, the song ends.
So far, the video has earned itself some 66 million views on YouTube!
As we said, sometimes a song is designed completely to be “of its time.” For most people, anything that Radiohead has done probably qualifies for that category.
Still, Postmodern Jukebox has shown once again that if you’re creative enough, and if you have performers who are talented enough, there’s virtually nothing you can’t accomplish. Although they definitely had their work cut out for them in reinventing this, it’s clear that they knocked it out of the park!
Congratulations to Postmodern Jukebox for yet another memorable performance! Be sure to watch the whole thing in the link below:
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