Monday, July 4, 2011

Diversion 2.0 Thirty Day Song Challenge -- Day 25: A Cover Song That Ravages the Original

In today’s modern, self-aware music scene, song covers are running rampant like never before. YouTube provides a soapbox for more homegrown attempts, and some record labels have even developed a whole series based on bands covering other bands. Some are fun twists on old favorites, while others go to great lengths to remain faithful to the original.

Then there are some like this.

Nickelback featuring Kid Rock and Dimebag Darrell – “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)”

I will give them this: conceptually, Nickelback and Kid Rock, two of America’s most proudly white trash songwriters, are pretty faithful to Elton John’s original intent of a working class good time getting rowdy at the bars. But criminy, we all know how I feel about Nickelback, and I’ll be damned if Kid Rock doesn’t sweeten the pot with his patented brand of sweat-stained wife beaters and tobacco juice.

As always, the main buzzkill for this song is Chad Kroeger and his weird, snarly, almost-singing voice. It’s definitely a personal problem on my part; after all, lots of people actually like the sound of this big doofus. For me, though, I can’t get past his throaty, yelp-y style of singing, which is reminiscent of someone tearing a sheet of paper in half at about 120 decibels.

The instrumentation in this song is reasonably appreciable, and certainly sounds more aggressively like a bar fight than EJ’s, but I’m not a fan of the key Nickelback chose to play it in. The whole song sounds higher than it should be, especially since Kroeger comes off as singing way higher than he’s comfortable with, and the track never quite settles into any sort of groove. Kid Rock is also here to lend his vocal talent… moving on.

Like I said, I’m generally at odds with the southern-fried, blue collar styling of both Nickelback and Kid Rock, so the notion of them graffiti-tagging over one of my favorite recently-discovered songs doesn’t sit well with me at all. Fortunately, this rendition of “Saturday Night” was only found on the Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle soundtrack and certain copies of Nickelback’s The Long Road, making hearing it in the wild rather unlikely.

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