Thursday, January 15, 2009

Elvis Costello Takes On Xtina, Oh How We Love It

We'll be the first to admit that we completely dig on Xtina's 2002 hit "Beautiful", and not without reason: For one, the woman's voice is just killer. For another, it's penned by former 4 Non Blondes leader Linda Perry, so it has a bit of cred. And really, we can't help but chuckle every time we see the melodramatic video that includes droves of stereotypically "ugly" protagonists. Ah, Hollywood.

Yet for all it's famous connections, we also think that "Beautiful" is really just an amazing song, and apparently Elvis Costello agrees with us. Costello covered the tune for the 2007 soundtrack to House MD, and we've had his version on near-constant rotation since. Costello completely abandons the grandiose balladry of the original to deliver a sparse version that depends largely on a lilting drum beat, and borrows more than a little from the arrangement of his own "The Bridge I Burned".

More than anything, we love this version because it shows just how great this tune truly is. Even disected and minimized to near-demo form, it swells with power and relevance. At the same time, Costello's version loses much of Aguilera's vibe of the "encouraging friend", and instead instills it with a triple dose of "get off your ass". Love it, people. Truly.

mp3: Elvis Costello - Beautiful


Hanan said...

amazing! Elvis Costello is a gem, truly,