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awful cover versions, cont.

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Astrid Swan Pavement

Bangs truly wept.

I was going to post one of the songs from her forthcoming Hits (Pavement For Girls) covers album, particularly the horribly smug, we’re-all-grown-up-now-and-you-can-fuck-off-back-to-the-playground, breathless version of ‘Box Elder’. And yes, the album is as crass as the title suggests, and yes it is someone coming over all 10th-rate Tori Amos on Pavement’s ass and thereby missing all the intrigue and fun and excitement and fucking SOUL at the heart of many of these songs. But then I came across this, and I was like, “JESUS! Talk about missing the fucking point of pop music and Cat Power and playing slowly and …” and then I got too worked up to continue. Like, some folk think if they slow stuff down it gives it soul or meaning or something. No. It fucking doesn’t. All it means is that you’ve slowed it down. I don’t like Kylie Minogue usually, but whichever way you want to paint it, this is a tremendous pop song. Usually.

Kinda gives the lie to Princess Stomper’s assertion a while back that a great pop song will shine through anything, doesn’t it? Mind you, this is an extreme example of crassness.

I have no idea who the fuck Astrid Swan is, and I really don’t want to know either. She’s from Finland, apparently. Remind me never to go there. Jesus, Chan Marshall has got a lot to answer for.

As I wrote about Sigur Rós:

Slowing stuff down doesn’t make music more ‘serious’ or more ‘soulful’, it just makes it slower. It’s music designed for media people to take designer drugs to (i.e. music that doesn’t stand up on its own merits), music that can be used in film trailers and on TV programmes the world over to signify ‘sensitivity’ or ‘the slow fade’ because it doesn’t intrude or upset for one second. It’s even vacuous enough to be used for sports coverage: the same heady ‘euphoric’ great sweeps of emotion and pomp signifying absolutely nothing. In another age, [this] would have been called ‘elevator music’, but that’s an insult to those fine citizens of Muzak.

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