I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with cover songs. On one hand, they’re a hell of a lot of fun when done well, but on the flipside, they can be horrifying when done badly. There have been a lot of covers done in 2021 and some of them blew us right out of the water. All of the songs on this list have put their own unique take and style into the original, so here’s my list of the year’s five best cover songs!
5. The Georgia Thunderbolts – “Midnight Rider” (originally by the Allman Brothers)
THE ALLMAN BROTHERS are a true classic of the southern rock -style and THE GEORGIA THUNDERBOLTS have taken that style and brought a little modern life to it in their debut, “Can We Get a Witness.” There are two great covers on the album, but the modern feel to that classic sound works wonders for “Midnight Rider.”
4. Noora Louhimo Experience – “Piece of My Heart” (originally by Erma Franklin, as made famous by Janis Joplin)
I’ve been going on about this band all year now, but if you look back on the very original version of this song, by Erma Franklin, and how Janis Joplin modernized it and brought it to life for her time, so too has Noora Louhimo added a new layer of life to the song with her own style.
3. Charlotte Wessels – “Cry Little Sister” (originally by Gerard McMann for Lost Boys)
Known best for her time in DELAIN, Charlotte Wessels has been doing her own music on Patreon since the pandemic started. This track was recorded on what was supposed to be a day off where she watched Lost Boys, but was so enraptured by the theme song that she had to cover it. Truly, her voice is at its best in this song. The song has been covered many times, so it says something that this one stands out so well.
2. Ghost – “Enter Sandman” (originally by Metallica)
I’ve already spoken about why this cover is so great, so I won’t repeat myself. This is, simply, a perfect GHOST take on a METALLICA song.
1. Machinae Supremacy – “Empire of Steel” (originally by Essenger & Scandroid)
Do you ever hear a cover that’s so good that you don’t know it’s a cover? That happened to me before when the DEVIN TOWNSEND PROJECT covered “Transdermal Celebration” by WEEN and again when MACHINAE SUPREMACY covered “Empire of Steel” by ESSENGER & SCANDROID. Even if the synthwave was a surprise for MASU, the lyrics felt like they came straight out of Robert Stjärnström‘s brain, so needless to say, this cover is nothing short of perfection (so much so that Olof Mörck praised the cover and said AMARANTHE doesn’t need to do it now).
Written by Bear W.