Tuesday, July 22, 2008

There are some things country should never touch

and one of those things is Matt Nathanson (pictured above, performing in Boston last Summer).

By Amy Willard
(photo also by Amy Willard)

I was kind of excited when I checked my inbox today and had some updates from MattNathanson.com, which featured 1. new tour dates (sadly none of them are in the DC/VA/MD region) 2. news that Sugarland has recorded a cover of "Come On Get Higher" from his '07 release, Some Mad Hope.

Being the cover enthusiast that I normally am, I immediately hit up the iTunes store to check out the mp3. But all I have to say is THANK GOODNESS there is a preview feature these days.

I'm not going ot lie, I was pretty hopeful on this cover. I mean, "Come On Get Higher" has go to be one of my favorite songs and I saw Sugarland at the WMZQ Festival in Virginia about a month ago (and actually enjoyed what I heard), so I figured this would be promising. (I also happened to catch Sugarland on Good Morning America this morning performing "All I Want To Do," so maybe, just maybe that was a sign or something.)

I couldn't be more wrong. I can tolerate country... to an extent-- mostly "All I Want to Do" and some songs by Rascal Flatts, but there some things that should not be done. This cover of "Come On Get Higher" has got to be one of them.

There is just some sort of passion within the vocals of Nathanson that matches the genius of the song overall. Unfortunately Jennifer Nettles, lead singer for Sugarland, doesn't quite have that same magic. Now, I'll give her some "props" on the pre-chorus. I did enjoy the female vocals for that, but once the chorus fully set in, I just had to call it quits.

Obviously for a popular band to cover a virtual unknown is a high compliment, and I'm sure the Nathanson crew is beyond flattered. I just wish it was a good cover.

So if you're sitting at home debating whether or not it's worth it to invest in the Love On the Inside's bonus track, I'm going to say pass.

I love Nathanson, and I can appreciate Sugarland, but no, iTunes will not be getting my .99 today.