So evidently it’s Dodgy Covers Wednesday around here or something.
Iain Forrester: This song being in the top 5 is a neat gathering together of everything wrong with parts of the UK pop world at present, illustrating as it does 1) A post-”Someone Like You” feeling that being really slow and serious makes a song Important and Real and that’s a good thing, and that things like dynamics, humour, excitement and drums are to be avoided. 2) The fact that advertisers have realised that by jumping this trend they can turn a song into a hit and gain further attention for their Twincest tweebags or whatever. 3) An X Factor mentality that taking a song that everyone already knows and “making it your own” is always some kind of revelatory thing, even if you’ve just turned it into a different kind of rubbish. Which is very much what Charlene has done here. She strips away the bluster of the song in the hopes of revealing a hidden depth of feeling or meaning. But no, it resolutely remains “Wherever You Will Go”, the only effect being that it seems to last twice as long.
Brad Shoup: Hell calls you collect. It sounds important. You’re put on hold.
Edward Okulicz: They play a bosh version of this at the gym across the street from me every morning. That’s right, a bosh version, and even then it’s still a zero. What chance does this have?
Katherine St Asaph: Half snooze, half caterwaul, all pointless.
Jer Fairall: Finally, this spawns its own genre.
Ian Mathers: I am on record as being one of the few here who liked Birdy’s similar-in-spirit cover of “Skinny Love,” but I hate this. Birdy was improving something turgid and awkward; whatever the relative merits of Bon Iver and the Calling, the original “Wherever You Will Go” is mercilessly effective. On the plus side, Soraia’s version doesn’t sound as much like Creed; on the minus side, it sounds a lot like a piano cover of a Creed song.
Alfred Soto: So guileless is Soraia that “down low” carries no subtext — not even a giggle. But guilelessness needs greater transformative powers than our singer demonstrates.
Alex Ostroff: This is awkward. After rolling my eyes at the post-grunge sea of modern rock for the better part of a decade, I’m now forced to admit that some of it did what it did quite well. (Specifically the original version of this song, ‘Kryptonite‘, and that one song by Lifehouse.) I know this because the merits of this cover are almost entirely due to the strengths of ‘Wherever You Will Go’ as a song, and its weaknesses are due to the fact that vaguely silly passionate (mostly kind of dumb) rock-dude-feelings are what this song was designed to communicate. I miss the stupid way Alex Band pronounced the word “wondering” to sound like “wandering.” Charlene effectively teases out the melodic intricacies and and emotional nuances, but at the end of the day, this was intended to be slathered in power chords and totally gratuitous orchestral string sections.
W.B. Swygart: You know how every other advert on Eurosport (the ones that aren’t for speed-skating) is about how awesome conference facilities in Qatar are? The Calling were the rock equivalent of them. So, as tempting as it is to bust out the whole “making something slower and quieter does not make it better” line here, that’s not strictly true.