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- Stay / Novacane by Low / Shearwater
2 reviews. Add your own review.
I don’t really want to hear Low covering Rhianna, but you might.
I’d prefer they stick to what they are good at and to be honest, if you’d have blindfolded me before making me listen to this, I might have thought this was Sam Bailey from X Factor’s Christmas effort. Of slight interest is that when Alan Sparhawk's voice comes in it's even higher and more shrill than Mimi’s, which at the beginning of the track would have seemed improbable. Otherwise it's just a standard charty, piano-led ballad that may get them some more dollar from use on unethical Christmas ads by big companies.
Shearwater’s effort is more interesting, taking Frank Ocean’s ‘Novocane’ and injecting it with some solemn fuzz and shrouding it in fog. Works really nicely.
9/10 Christian Customer review, 6th January 2014
Do you know that? Sometimes when you listen to chart muzak on the radio (by accident of course) you hear a song and can't deny that you like it in a way. You are mortally embarrassed and wouldn't tell anyone about it because you fear to damage your reputation as a listener to "cool music" only. You love the Velvet Underground, so how can you like a Rihanna song? I don't know but it happened to me. I heard "Stay" several times on the radio, not knowing if this was Rihanna or Katy Knowles or Beyoncé Perry or whoever, but I thought it isn't such a bad song. Great melody, sparingly used instrumentation, not the usual synthetic chart bombast at all. The fact that the uncrowned masters of slowcore and harmony vocals, the mighty Low, have covered "Stay", and the fact that they didn't make noticable changes in the arrangement is kind of a confirmation for me that my taste might not be completely out of tune. Low didn't make their own version but covered the song one-to-one and nevertheless it could really be a Low song if we wouldn't know better. The vocal melody range might possibly be a bit wider here than in most of Low's own songs, but then again they enhanced their musical spectrum so much during the last years, that you can't really speak of the typical Low song anymore. "Stay" has a very reduced arrangement. There's not much more than a few piano chords as an instrumental base for Mimi Parker's and Alan Sparhawk's splendid vocals. The original singers Rihanna and Mikky Ekko can only get the short end of the stick in comparison with what Mimi and Alan do here. To be covered by Low is the best thing that could happen to this song. Not much to say about the flip side. I'm not familiar with the music of Shearwater. Same with Frank Ocean, who did the original of "Novacane". Sounds a bit like MC Whoever remixing Joy Division or something.
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