A good cover of a famous song can bring the whole thing to life again.
For anyone who is looking to find their own artistic voice, imitating or covering other songs or other works of art can help us to do that.
Although we’re sometimes resistant to hear our favorite songs interpreted by someone else, sometimes a good cover can breathe new life into an original version and can inspire us to look at the original thing in a new way.
That was definitely the case with this group’s cover of a famous pop song.
The performance we’re talking about today was posted online by a group called Postmodern Jukebox.
Though they’re not necessarily a household name, Postmodern Jukebox (also known as PMJ) is a musical group founded by pianist and arranger Scott Bradlee back in 2011.
Though they have an eclectic style, the group’s main purpose is to take popular modern music and to rearrange it in older American styles—styles like swing, jazz and bebop, for example. Though we might not think of these genres as being all that relevant anymore, many of them still influence modern pop music.
And the group decided to point out that fact with their cover of Meghan Trainor’s “All About That Bass.”
Trainor has made a name for herself as a singer and pop artist who draws heavily on the past when forming her songs.
Still, the musicians at Postmodern Jukebox found a way to twist her composition even further into the past. As the song begins, the entire group starts snapping along to accompany a stand-up bass line.
Unlike the original version, this one is much mellower and more slowed down. After introducing the main musical motif, the bass is moved aside and a female vocalist moves to the front.
With that, she lends her own vocal stylings to Trainor’s song.
Although Trainor’s version is focused on a kind of 1950’s swing, the version that PMJ does is even more of a throwback.
The jazzy vocals and bebop melody gives the song a whole new feel and really brings it back to the essence of what actually inspired it in the first place.
By stripping back all the modern production techniques, the core jazziness of the vocal melody is the only thing that remains.
Still, the whole thing goes to another when the second vocalist comes in and really amps up the power!
Before the performance is over, the stand-up bass is brought back out for a quick solo… and there’s a third vocalist as well!
Although it’s hard to top the popularity of Trainor’s original song, Postmodern Jukebox’s version has earned itself a solid 55 million views on YouTube!
Still, after watching their performance, it’s easy to see why people are responding to it. The chemistry between all of these disparate musicians is undeniable, and they definitely have some singing and playing chops! Above all, it’s always nice to be reminded of the musical traditions we come from every once in a while.
Thanks to Postmodern Jukebox for totally reinventing this song! Be sure to watch the entirety of the performance in the clip below:
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