Friday, March 21, 2008

Live Covers: Damien Rice (Hallelujah cover 1443)

Is it possible to have too many covers of "Hallelujah"? It's a brilliant song and all, but yes, it's definitely possible. We overdosed on post-Cohen artists wailing about how love is not a victory march years ago, but every once in a while a cover is good enough to make us reconsider. Witness Damien Rice's amazing cover at Leonard Cohen's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. It's the best post-Buckley cover that we've heard so far (Rufus Wainwright's version being his only real competition for the title), because he understands the song so much better than most musicians that attempt it. Most singers try to pump up the big notes as much as possible and make the song sound forced, but people loved Buckley's because of the way he took his time and let the song flow organically. Damien Rice follows this approach as much as he can given his time restraints, and delivers one of the most genuine performances of the song to date.

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