In honor of our “Remix Issue” launching in just a couple of weeks, our co editor-in-chief, Marlo Jappen, shares her top 12 favorite music remixes!
Releasing a cover takes guts. It sets the artist up for comparisons, criticism and the oft-repeated phrase: “Nothing beats the original.” But, music hits us all in different ways and remixes capture that. In anticipation of Atlas’ “Remix Issue, ” I rounded up 12 of my favorites.
1) Kiesza, “What is Love?” (Haddaway)
Kiesza’s powerful vocals give the song a sense of depth and emotion that’s lacking from the bland 90s original.
2) The Weekend, “Drunk in Love”(Beyoncé)
Queen Bey should never be covered. The Weekend, however, proves you should never say “never.”
3) A Day to Remember, “Over My Head” (The Fray)
What happens when a metal band covers The Fray? Excellence. Pure, head banging excellence.
4) The White Stripes, “Jolene” (Dolly Parton)
Jack White’s passionate, haunting rendition lends a rock-and-rock edge to the country anthem.
5) Janis Joplin, “Me and Bobby McGee” (Kris Kristofferson)
A few days before her death, Joplin recorded this single and it became her only one to hit number 1. Her raw talent is on full display here, but I can’t help but wonder how she only topped the charts once.
6) Lorde, “Don’t Tell ‘Em” (Jeremih)
I can’t listen to this song just once. Lorde’s hypnotic singing—and awkward dance moves— will lure you into pressing “Replay.”
7) Yo Preston and Kelly Kiara “Love Yourself” (Justin Bieber)
I hate to admit it, but I’ve jammed to Bieber’s version. But, Preston and Kiara’s take is unique because it shows how there are two sides to every story. Bonus: You can listen to it in public without being judged.
8) Johnny Cash, “Hurt” (Nine Inch Nails)
I was under the impression that this was a Cash original. If that’s not a sign of an effective cover, I don’t know what is.
9) Bayside, “Movin’ Out” (Billy Joel)
Both artists hail from New York and they won’t let you forget it. That’s about the only similarity this punky garage band shares with legend Billy Joel.
10) JoJo, “Marvin’s Room” (Drake)
“Marvin’s Room” reminds us how music is an ongoing conversation. Whatever happened to JoJo? She’s releasing her latest album, “Mad Love,” sometime this year. In the meantime, I revisit her oldies-but-still-goodies.
11) Keri Hilson,”Turn My Swag On” (Soulja Boy)
Hilson’s killer confidence stands out in this empowering song. Her version brings a touch of girl power that makes it her own.
12) Blake Shelton, “Footloose,” (Kenny Loggins)
“Country” is the yellow Starburst of the music world. So many people are adamant about disliking it, which is why it fosters a vibrant, tight-knit community. When a country artist breaks the wall by covering a mainstream song—even if it’s a tune from a delightfully cheesy 80s flick— the result is distinct and memorable.