8Tracks Review: ‘Pop Covers’ by Marié Digby

It’s amazing how you can speak right to my heart

Marié Digby released an album of  pop covers this week.  I’m pretty sure these were all recorded before and are only collected and put into sequence here for the first time.

I love Marié.  You love Marié.  There’s no need to sell anyone on checking this out, and you pretty much know what to expect, although the Soundgarden cover might be a nice surprise!

You drown out the crowd

  1. Hold On, We’re Going Home (Drake) (2:05)
  2. Diamonds (Rihanna) (2:48)
  3. New Rules (Dua Lipa) (2:57)
  4. Too Good at Goodbyes (Sam Smith) (3:03)
  5. Let it Go (James Bay) (3:41)
  6. Black Hole Sun (Soundgarden) (2:49)
  7. Ordinary World (Duran Duran) (3:16)
  8. Enjoy the Silence (Depeche Mode) (2:55)
  9. When You Say Nothing at All (Alison Krauss) (2:45)
  10. Empire (Shakira) (3:13)

What’s being said between your heart and mine

I do not like the original recordings of any of the first five songs, so I am quite possibly the wrong person to evaluate these as covers.  I do very much like the originals of tracks 6 through 9, and Shakira’s always been semi-interesting.  Context for deciding on my cred.

Marié gives even the songs I don’t care much for her usual sweet, breathy treatment and I don’t have a single complaint.  Reinterpreted as mostly acoustic, stripped-down songs, everything here works.  I was surprised to find myself really liking the Sam Smith cover, “Too Good at Goodbyes.”

The real highlight is Alison Krauss’s “When You Say Nothing at All,” which is itself a cover of a Keith Whitley recording.  I’ve heard (and seen) Marié play a bunch of songs on her guitar, but she gets a really clear, ringing tone on this one, something a little different sounding from what I’m used to from her.  It sounds like she recorded the vocal live, as she accompanied herself, and rather than cheap or hurried, it sounds spontaneous.  It’s also one of the few tracks here where she doesn’t do the moaning-into-the-notes singing and it just sounds freaking pretty.

Although I’ve heard many of these recordings already, putting them together this way makes them more interesting.  Whether you’re a casual fan or hardcore, you’ll probably want to put this in heavy rotation for the rest of the summer.

Now you say it best

  • Best song: “When You Say Nothing at All”
  • Second-best song: “Ordinary World”
  • Meh: “Enjoy the Silence”
  • Songs I didn’t know before I spun this album: “Let it Go” and “New Rules”
  • Not an improvement on original: “Enjoy the Silence”
  • Huge improvement on original: “Hold On, We’re Going Home” and “Diamonds”
  • Best moment: The piano intro on “Let it Go”
  • Second-best moment: The almost yodel-like melody in the chorus of “Empire,” minus the hooing, which is better than in the original recording but still doesn’t do anything for me
  • Song to make you text your ex (don’t do it!): “Let it Go”
  • Song to make you whip out your old guitar and try to write a song (do it!): “When You Say Nothing at All”

Rating: 7/10

Old Mr. Webster could never define

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About Mitchell K. Dwyer

@scrivener likes movies.
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