PopSyd: New boys, old beats

By | November 21, 2013

The Towerlight

I’m almost always on the lookout for new music. I’m also pretty keen on boy bands. The two don’t seem related, but recently, these two things lead to a dive into the depths of YouTube on a search for covers of popular boy band songs. Some covers were great, some were terrible and some I even listened to on repeat, but I found a few that are worth mentioning.

The Gardiner Sisters, well known YouTube musicians, posted a cover of ‘N Sync’s “Bye Bye Bye.” Because ‘N Sync is my favorite boy band, I was skeptical that any musician could do the song justice.

I found that many electronic covers of ‘N Sync’s songs sounded like they were trying too hard, but the Gardiner Sisters made it their own by doing an acoustic cover of the song and blending their unusual vocals. I have a confession to make: I have no idea what the lyrics to “MMMBop” are. I’ve seen Hanson in concert and I still have no idea what they’re saying. Nonetheless, I still enjoyed a cover of the song done by UK indie-pop band The Vamps.

The Vamps didn’t make many changes when they took on the song, but simple was better in this case. I don’t think doing a serious, acoustic cover of such a fun song would have gone together well.

Carly Rose Sonenclar, runner up on season two of The X Factor, stripped down One Direction’s “Stole My Heart” to a piano rendition of the song. She turned the fun, club song to a sweet and sentimental tune, and her vocals were even reminiscent of Norah Jones.

The Jonas Brothers have a knack for producing great covers from artists like Bruno Mars, fun., and even Frank Ocean (or, they used to before they broke up). But good covers of Jonas Brothers’ songs were much more difficult to find.

Alex Goot, “gootmusic” on YouTube, did a decent job covering the band’s 2008 hit “Burnin’ Up,” though. He served as a one-man band on the song, playing the drums, keyboard, tambourine, guitar and more. It’s not as good as the original, of course, but Goot is definitely a talented musician. Citizen’s cover of “Barbara Ann” by The Beach Boys is the cream of the crop when it comes to boy band covers.

Their version of the song starts out harmonious and innocent, but then quickly jumps to the rough vocals Citizen is known for. The vocal contrast between the two bands was somewhat comical, but in the best way. Their cover is just over a minute long, but in that time they managed to make the song something completely new while still doing justice to The Beach Boys.

If you’re looking for new songs to get you through the rest of the semester, I highly recommend adding these covers, and the originals, to your playlist.