|Bad Taste Friday
||[Jan. 22nd, 2010|09:13 pm]
I should know better than to randomly browse through You Tube looking at things. Last night I discovered a crime against popular music; more particularly, against Kate Bush. Some Modern Teenager Aimed Pop Group (possibly Goth or Elmo, but I don't know enough about the differences between various types of Edgy Teenage Music these days) named "Within Temptation" has done a ridiculously overblown version of Running Up That Hill, as follows:
Really fairly ordinary, isn't it? And that's its biggest failing. It's all spectacle-by-numbers and expensive cinematography with no personality behind it.
Here, on the other hand, is the real Kate Bush. Instead of a cast of thousands, there's a cast of one; two costumes, some props, one backlight and one double bass. Instead of manufactured glamour, there's genuine weirdness: suggestive dancing with musical instruments, eye-popping staring at the camera; waving swords around while wearing some sort of Red Sonja costume; to the accompaniment of Kate Bush's idiosyncratic warbling and some quite odd sound effects (at one point it sounds very much like people are breaking glass in the studio).
Heh. Within Temptation have been around a while... granted, not as long as Kate Bush, but about 15 years too long to be edgy or teenage. They kind of fit into that same symphonic/gothic/power metal niche as Nightwish, only with fewer hilarious English mispronunciations, and more death grunts.
Their version of Running Up That Hill doesn't thrill me either, it's rather flat and passionless, but they're not a bad band.
I'd honestly not have described them as "metal" as such... this must be a fairly uncharacteristic performance of theirs (which raises the question: why do it at all?) Although if this is a type of metal then it's one I could grow accustomed to if there was a band that played interesting songs of their own in the style... it's not bad so much as it's unnecessary and doesn't really add anything to the song (unlike, for example, something I heard for the first time yesterday: the Dean Martinis performing Ace of Spades in a lounge-lizard/vaguely jazz-like style...)
They definitely fall into the softer side of symphonic and gothic metal, but I wouldn't say this is characteristic of them, either.
Gothic metal is a strange genre, more defined by lyrical themes than musical style. Then again, The Sisters of Mercy never sounded very much like Siouxsie, either.
I never even thought of Siouxsie and the Banshees as being "Goth" until quite recently when I saw them being claimed as such after the fact... they weren't a band I knew much about but always thought of them as one of the early post-punk / new-wave groups (I think their most popular song in this part of the world was a Beatles cover, of all things!)
And I do very much enjoy Sisters of Mercy's Floodland (and I'm not the only one - spot the LOLdritch icon elsewhere on this page...)
Edited at 2010-01-23 12:09 pm (UTC)
They're considered one of the seminal 80s Goth bands, at least on this side of Le Pond. Maybe because of Siouxsie's personal style more than anything. Amusingly enough, both she and Andrew Eldritch disavow the genre, rather vehemently in his case.
I saw and am amused by the icon. Floodland is their best album for sure, but I like pretty much everything they ever did.
Within Temptation are supposed to be Goffy, I think. The lead singer's voice is all over the place and they've mistaken beat for soul, bless them. They might grow out of it.
I'm beginning to think the main failing of this version is that it's done in a vaguely similar style to the original, but just with no subtlety and nowhere near as well (I've been thinking on this and am actually wondering whether the `eighties Goths looked at Kate Bush as an inspiration, considering the subject matter of her first huge hit single). I once read a review of another song which basically went "hey, guys, don't try to cover somebody else's (musical style) if it's sharper than your own"... that could almost be applicable in this case.
And that particular spelling of "Goth" has just sent my brain into very strange and bizarre places involving political figures. Thank you. I think.
2010-01-23 10:08 am (UTC)
Given Placebo managed an actually rather good cover of "Running up that hill", I think we can fault the singers rather than the song in this case.
Hmmm... I've tracked that one down and am listening to it and it's not actually that bad at all... it's much more subtle and muted, for all that it's got less in common with the original. I think I prefer "reinterpretation" than "imitation" when it comes to covers of well-known songs.
Although I'm getting distracted trying to figure out where the singer's accent is from...