I’ve said it a million times before, covers are a tricky craft. You don’t really want to cover a song verbatim because there’s no sense of unique artistry. Yet, you don’t want to toss away the intent and theming behind the original. I’ll be the first to admit, there are some songs that I could declare untouchable, but today I’m eating crow on a true classic. Phil Collins’ ‘Sussudio’ is a track that has stood the test of time. To be redone is almost unthinkable. Until Canada’s Paper Lions got their hands on it…
When you take hold of a proper 80’s song, don’t remove the elements that made it what we remember. Enhance it. For Paper Lions, they took care of a classic Phil Collins track and made it even more 80s. How is that possible you may ask? Add more electronic elements. The synthesized melody is a lot more playful than the original. It’s very subtle but it adds a dash of something special that wasn’t there before. The horns and guitar are just as you remembered them before because that was a core driver of the original melody. The outro is the real unique spot that shows how Paper Lions made it their own. No vocals, just pure musicianship. During the song, you become engulfed by the classic horns, the synths, the guitar and the famous Collins drums. You’re transported back to 1985 when the album No Jacket Required dropped. Then, each element starts to fade out. First goes the vocals, the horns, the drums, then finally the guitar exits on a hollow echo that leaves you wanting more.
I’ve been very critical of covers before, because of the lack of personality some artists tend to throw in the mix. With this single in particular, I noticed something I hadn’t before. The need for the younger generation to know of the songs that came before it. The songwriters like Phil Collins aren’t “mainstream” like they used to be. It’s going to take young talented musicians like Paper Lions to educate the young generation on what it was like when top 40 actually wrote their music. (You know exactly what I mean)
If you dig it as much as we do. You can download ‘Sussudio’ for free on Soundcloud!