Emotion in Reworked Music is the last in my short series of blogs looking at songs reworked by the original artist. In the first in the series, I looked at ‘Layla’ by Eric Clapton. In the second blog, I considered ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley. In this third and final blog I am going to look at ‘I Love You’ by Woodkid.
When we have a favourite song that is issued as a cover version they often disappoint. While sometimes they take the track to new heights, more often they don’t quite hit the mark of the original. With these blogs though, I have been looking at famous tracks that have been reworked by the original artist.
With ‘Layla’, clearly Eric Clapton managed to create a new version that was equally as successful as the original.
‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ was not as good as the original (a disco icon). But Rick Astley did bring out a depth of emotion in the song by stripping it back to voice and piano.
Following that theme of discovering emotion in reworked music brings me to Woodkid.
I remember I was at a restaurant in Brighton with my Mum. We were the only people in there and the two young waiters approached the table. They very politely asked if they could put on some of their own music rather than the bland stuff that was being broadcast. We said we had no problem. A few minutes later I couldn’t eat as I was taken up some fabulous music. I called one of the waiters back over and asked who it was. It turned out it was Woodkid and a track called ‘Iron’. That was it, I was hooked.
When I got home I went straight on the internet to discover more and fell in love with Woodkid’s album ‘The Golden Age’. And it had the most wonderful cinematic videos accompanying the tracks.
But who is Woodkid?
It was not a surprise to find that Woodkid is a music video director, graphic designer as well as a singer song-writer. He is French, real name Yoann Lemoine. His debut album, ‘The Golden Age’ is autobiographical. Here his interest in neofolk music came to the fore.
If you have never heard of him, I bet you would recognise some of his music. ‘Iron’ has been used in various films and tv programmes including ‘Hitchcock’ and ‘Teen Wolf’. ‘Run Boy Run’ was used in several commercials and also featured in the film ‘Divergent’. Another track that featured in that same film was ‘I Love You’.
I Love You – Original
The whole of the album ‘The Golden Age’ is basically a stirring epic story. If you have never heard it or seen the videos I would strongly recommend you give it a go. The music videos are artistic triumphs.
Having said that, with the combination of stirring music and incredible visuals, sometimes the words to the songs get not exactly lost but taken on less importance. See what you think. You will not be surprised to know that the video was nominated for various Music Video Awards.
I Love You – Quintet Version
Now I love the original of this song but it was stunning to hear a more recent quintet version. What grabbed me with this new version was the sheer emotion in the song that I perhaps did not appreciate enough before. Listen to this.
Is it better than the original? Not in my view, but it is so very different. It has achieved the same as we saw with the Rick Astley track. Stripping back the track to the song lyrics and the focus on those rather than the whole package of effects and sound. It brought out a new level of appreciation of the song. An ideal example of what I mean when I talk about bringing out emotion in reworked music.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!