Saturday 26 January 2013

Adele's Skyfall - Youtube Faceoff

BBCs Live Lounge is great and all but what I love most is trawling through Youtube to find the best cover versions of my favourite songs by unsigned artists. If you put the time in, you'll find so many different and innovative interpretations of the biggest hits right now... but who has the time for that I hear you say? Have no fear for that's what our Youtube Faceoff is all about.

Today we're going to take a look at the Oscar nominated 'Skyfall', which has become one of the most successful Bond themes in years, thanks to the enormously talented Adele. That girl can release a song with zero promotion and still end up with one of the biggest hits of the year. Adele doesn't even appear in the official video - errrrr....lazy! - but the production values make up for that. Check out the original song below and remind yourself of how a Bond theme should sound. No offence Madonna. Or Alicia Keys. Or Jack White. Or Chris Cornell. Or...

Adele is renowned for being tough to cover, due to that INCREDIBLE voice of hers so how do you take one of her signature hits and make it your own without sounding like crap? As always, many on youtube have attempted this feat and let's face it, many have failed but there are also definitely some diamonds in the rough out there. Let's take a look at my four favourite picks.

First up is a male acoustic cover of 'Skyfall' by the user only1noah. Noah has recorded a whole bunch of videos but this has to be one of his best. As soon as you first hear his raspy voice, you become instantly drawn in and I was particularly impressed by the raw vocal he delivers at the end. If you can't nail that end bit then there's no point but Noah has a deceptively wide range to his voice so make sure you watch the video the whole way through.

Next up is a completely different version of the song, performed by female vocalist Stefanie Lawrence and piano player Andrew Black. Out of all the versions of 'Skyfall' that I'm sharing today, this one stays most true to the original song but that is not to say that its a generic cover by any means. Black's piano playing and backing vocals are beautifully done and Lawrence's voice is just breathtaking. Don't believe me? Wait until the last chorus to hear her completely let loose with that powerhouse voice. Very impressive.

The third cover that I would like to share is by another male vocalist on guitar, but his version is very different to the one previously heard. Stephen Weingand has a softer voice than Noah, which makes the quieter moments on the verses more emotive. I love both covers though and it's hard to say if one is better than the other because they're both brilliant in different ways. Listen below to see what you think.

Finally, I thought I'd do something a little bit different to normal and share an instrumental cover. I'm not normally a huge fan of songs if there isn't a vocal for me to sing along to (badly) but Jun Sung Ahn does a beautiful job with his violin cover of the track. 'Skyfall' has a real classical feel to it which lends itself to performances like this and I found the whole thing surprisingly emotive. Give it a chance, I think you'll like it.

So those were my picks for the best Youtube versions of Adele's now classic Bond theme 'Skyfall. Which one is your favourite? And do you think 'Skyfall' has a chance of winning at the Oscars this year? If you're reading this after February 24th then well done Adele! Knew you'd get it!!! Let me know what you think by commenting, liking and sharing below. Thanks!

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