Saturday, 27 April 2013

Psy's Gentleman - Youtube Faceoff

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 or small-time 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. Previous posts have looked at artists as diverse as Kesha, One Direction and Bastille. Today it's Psy's turn!

Following the unexpected global success of 'Gangnam Style', Psy had the daunting task of proving himself to be more than just a one hit wonder. Sure South Korea already loved him but how would the rest of the world feel about his follow-up single? Fortunately, 'Gentleman' has become a huge smash for the k-pop star, breaking youtube records left, right and centre with its hilarious video and addictively simple chorus. 

Sure it's not to everyone's taste but I love 'Gentleman' and it appears that many singers on Youtube do as well. But how do you cover a Korean rap song and make it your own? I won't lie; there was a lot of crap to sift through but after endless minutes of searching, I wanted to share some of my favourite covers of 'Gentleman' with you. Click below to decide which one is best.

First up is an acoustic cover by Welshandy1, who cleverly bypasses the whole singing in Korean issue by performing an English translation. I love the tone of Andy's voice and the way that he sings the track makes 'Gentleman' almost sound like a love song of sorts. The whole thing works really well and I like the fact that Andy puts his own spin on the tracks now infamous line, 'I'm a mother father gentleman'.

The next cover that I wanted to share is by a band called Bwani Junction, who retitle the track 'Gentleman (Of The Road)'. Imagine if Mumford & Sons covered 'Gentleman' on BBCs Live Lounge and you might have some idea of what's in store. A folk interpretation of a Korean rap hit should just not work, plain and simple, but I found myself loving this cover on first hearing. See what you think.

Steveyk are a male duo who don't take themselves too seriously. Their acoustic version of 'Gentleman' is pretty good but what I really like about this video is the random guy in the background performing all of the dance moves in a bid to retain the originals quirky strangeness.

Surprisingly, there aren't many female covers of 'Gentleman' on youtube yet but I did come across a really sweet version by a singer called Izzy Salinel. I really like how simple the arrangement is but what I love most is how she changes the lyrics so that the entire song revolves around Salinel's search for her very own 'mother father gentleman'. God knows what that actually means but it sounds great.

Finally, I wanted to share another male acoustic version of 'Gentleman', which sounds really different to any of the others shared so far. Ginno is a Greek singer/songwriter whose voice has a nice soft tone but what really impressed me is how he adds more range to the song, taking the notes higher than the other male performers in this post to make it his own. Check it out.

So what do you think of the 'Gentleman' covers that you've heard today? My personal favourite would have to be the first version by Welshandy1, as I just love the sound of his voice, but I want to know what you think. Which one is your favourite and do you know of any other awesome 'Gentleman' covers that I could add to the post? Remember to check back soon for another Youtube Faceoff but for now, I'll leave you with an extra gem I found on my searches. If you like 'Gangnam Style', you'll love Jayesslee and their stunning acoustic rendition of Psy's breakout hit. Enjoy!

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