Original VS Cover: Hozier Covers Arctic Monkeys’ “Do I Wanna Know”


Arctic Monkeys, AM © Domino

If there is one album I regret sleeping on 2013, it was The Arctic Monkeys’ brilliant AM. Sure, I eventually was blessed with its prolific goodness, but it took longer than it should have. But everyone’s walk is not the same – oops sounds like a church thing now. Anyways, one of my favorite up-and-coming artists, Hozier recently covered a favorite from that superb album, “Do I Wanna Know.”

“Do I Wanna Know” is truly one song that has stuck with me throughout the course of 2014, which should speak to how great yours truly thinks it is. Supplanting or matching the exceptionality of this particular gem is near- if not impossible. That said, discovering that Hozier covering on the BBC Radio 1 YouTube channel excited me.

After listening to Hozier’s cover, I was a bit disappointed (shocking I know), a feeling I’ve never felt in the least about the Irish singer/songwriter. The disappointment isn’t because Hozier’s performance wasn’t sound. Additionally, the disappointment wasn’t because he didn’t ‘make it his own’ – he did. The reason is because “Do I Wanna Know” feels too dramatically different from the original.

How often do you hear that about a cover – it’s ‘too dramatically different from the original’? Honestly, Hozier should take the criticism as a compliment, as it speaks to his artistry and musicianship. Musically, Hozier’s take is truly alluring and would be even more so if he wasn’t covering such a superb song in its original form. The use of strings, transforming the G minor number into its parallel major with backing vocals – are all higher level musician moves and are incredible respectable.

What are your thoughts when you compare Hozier’s thoughtful, though starkly different interpretation to the Arctic Monkeys’ original?

Photo Credits: © Columbia (Hozier), © Domino (Arctic Monkeys)
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