Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Five Songs that American Idol Contestants Should Consider Covering

I am a not-so-closeted American Idol fan. I know it's cheesy, I know that no musician I respect would ever make it out of the prelims, I know it's manipulative, crass, cynical, feed-the- money machine commercial television, but I love it.
However, I will say that, week in and week out, the song choices made by the contestants are so uninspired and insipid that I sometimes find myself itching to see what the Knicks are doing.
So, in the interest of improving the quality of my American Idol-watching experience, and at the same time guaranteeing the wise contestant who takes my advice at least one more week of national exposure, I would like to offer the following alternative song choices. (Note: None of these songs are at all left field. In fact they are all pretty mainstream. They have all previously been covered by mainstream artists. They are just a little more interesting than the usual Tuesday night fodder.)

Jeff Buckley - Hallelujah
This is a Leonard Cohen song made famous by Jeff Buckley, but also covered by K.D. Lang and John Cale, among others.

The Left Banke - Walk Away Renee
This was a hit back in the '60's and has been covered countless times. It deserves to be a hit again.

Patty Griffin - Mary
This is a Patty Griffin song covered very badly by Bette Midler, but nevertheless a truly gorgeous, moving song.

Blue Rodeo - 'Til I Gain Control Again
This is a Rodney Crowell (meaning c&w) song that has been covered by everyone from Van Morrison to This Mortal Coil (one of the best cover bands of all time). This version is by a great Canadien band called Blue Rodeo.

This Mortal Coil - Song to the Siren
This is a Tim Buckley song, covered here by This Mortal Coil (featuring vocals by Elizabeth Fraser, lead singer of Cocteau Twins). I actually like this version better than the orignal.

All these songs can be purchased on Amazon.