Run For Cover is a weekly music column comparing cover songs to the original version. Prepare for a major bending of rules as we hear musicians throw around genres, tempos, style, and intent. Whether they’re picking up another’s song out of respect or boredom, the results have impressed us.
This summer has been rather disappointing in the film department, with blockbusters either not delivering or having a disappointing original concept to begin with. Leave it to music to save the day. Throughout it all, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” hit has been pinned to radio charts without wavering.
Let’s get this out of the way: “one-hit wonder” isn’t applicable here.
Robin Thicke has been in the industry since before most of the people who love the song were even in high school. The 36-year-old R&B singer has been writing music since 1994, saw his second album go platinum in 2006, and was a nominee numerous times during 2007’s BET Awards, American Music Awards, and the VMAs. Now, as of last week, “Blurred Lines” has sold over 4.614 million copies;
“Thrift Shop” is the only 2013 single to have sold more copies.
It’s no news flash that “Blurred Lines” is raunchy and at times misogynistic in its lyrics; the chorus alone has countless people heated (“I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it / The way you grab me / Must wanna get nasty”).
A nude unrated version of the song’s music video has only furthered debates.
Supposedly the director suggested the girls go topless, Thicke claiming he has little to do with it. “It’s a little risqué,” he told CTV’s Canada AM on Tuesday. “And then I showed it to my wife and her friends and they all went bananas over it. And they all said put it out.”
New York indie rock band Vampire Weekend took a break from promoting their new record, Modern Vampires of the City, to cover Thicke’s newest single. Before those worry lines appear, realize it was done in good fun and without rude mockery. Even Pharrell took to Twitter to say he, and the rest of the singers, approved:
— Pharrell Williams (@Pharrell) July 21, 2013
Off the bat it’s obvious their rendition will sound different than Thicke’s because it was recorded live at BBC Radio 1 during their hour-long performance on July 10th.
Prepare for giggles.
What may be lost in cozy production value is certainly made up for in antics caught on tape. Ezra Koenig takes over for both Thicke and T.I., delivering his finest falsetto and fastest rap respectively.
The cover is delightfully comedic, and the band is well aware.
It’s fine if you can’t keep a straight face when you hear Koenig read T.I.’s rap part; he can’t either. The whole group are focused on performing the track without any mistakes, but they also can’t keep from smiling at the ridiculousness of it all.
Now when you’re at a loss for words at how good looking someone is at the club, trust Vampire Weekend’s winning words:
“You’re the hottest fish in this place.”