Verdict: Billie Jean – Aloe Blacc v. Everyone Else

Even if you aren’t a Michael Jackson fan, it’s hard to resist singing along to Billie Jean, isn’t it? Especially the chorus. That is definitely some catchy stuff. So many musicians have covered the song, from Chris Cornell to Fall Out Boy’s Patrick Stump, and I recently found a cover by the extremely talented Aloe Blacc. To say Blacc’s version is a great cover is an understatement – it is absolutely, without a doubt, brilliant. Don’t kill me for saying this, but it even beats the pants off MJ’s original.

Blacc has used a string section to create a song that is simply perfection. He has taken a fun dance song and turned it into a beautiful jazz/blues song that you just want to listen to over and over again. Which version do you prefer?

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Verdict: No One’s Gonna Love You – Band of Horses v. Cee Lo Green

The blogosphere’s been incessantly buzzing about Cee Lo Green’s new album The Lady Killer, and the awesome first track that he recently released. While the song is, in my opinion, the most kickass song of the year, I’m completely blown away by his cover of Band of Horses’ No One’s Gonna Love You.

This is the point where I’m supposed to cower under my desk, because Band of Horses’ fans are up in arms at what they think is Cee Lo massacring a fantastic song. And, in what seems like a first for me with covers, I don’t prefer one or the other: both songs are completely fantastic. I LOVE Band of Horses’ original track, which is simply a classic, beautiful song. I also love Cee Lo’s version, which is so powerful, moreso because of his strong voice.

What do you think? Do you have a preference?

Verdict: Kids – MGMT v The Kooks/Weezer/Ben Lee

MGMT are no doubt extremely popular and remarkably catchy, and their single Kids is one of their best songs that I’ve heard to date. Apparently a lot of other people also seem to think so, because the Internet is flooded with covers of the song by several different artists, including The Kooks, Weezer (although they do break into Lady Gaga after about two minutes of awesome MGMT) and Ben Lee.

While MGMT’s version of Kids is still my favourite, The Kooks’ version comes in at a close second. What do you think? Leave a comment below.

(NB – The link official MGMT video on YouTube wouldn’t load, but I’ll try and fix the link soon.)

Verdict: Part Of Me – Chris Cornell

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Chris Cornell is a legend. He writes some fabulous songs, plays a mean guitar, has one of the sexiest voices I’ve ever heard, and is ridiculously hot.

With his new album Scream, the rocker has turned electronic/hip-hop and roped in Timbaland to produce, and Audioslave/Soundgarden/Cornell fans are up in arms condemning him and labelling him a sellout. Which leads me to pose the question – is his first single Part Of Me really so bad?

Let me preface by saying that I, for one, love the song. It’s catchy and fun, and while it is way off what Cornell usually does, it’s a good Chris Cornell song (it does have the potential to be a disaster if it were sung by Ricky Martin/Enrique Iglesias/Justin Timberlake, or basically anyone who isn’t Cornell). The fans are upset that Cornell has strayed away from rock to the more mainstream genres. What they seem to be forgetting is that just because it isn’t a rock song doesn’t mean that it’s not a good song.

Part Of Me is evidence that Cornell isn’t just a rocker, he’s a musician. The man has been making rock for decades, so if he wants to try something new, I say he’s entitled. In his own words, “Well, I think anybody should be able to do whatever the hell they want.” Leave a comment below and let me know what you think.

Verdict: Run – Snow Patrol v Leona Lewis

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In 2004, Virgin Radio UK became my favourite radio station when it introduced me to Snow Patrol’s Run from their album Final Straw (thank you iTunes radio!). They achieved huge success with Chasing Cars and subsequently rose to fame, but Run continues to be the best Snow Patrol song there is.

So today when I tuned in to vh1 and saw Leona Lewis singing the same song, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. Leona has an excellent voice, no doubt, but Run is what it is because of Gary Lightbody’s softer yet more passionate way of singing it and the grand scale of the amazing music arragements.

Clearly I prefer the original Snow Patrol Run. Watch Snow Patrol’s version and Leona Lewis’s version and decide for yourself, and leave a comment below.