Monday, February 14, 2011

Cloé Beaudoin: Unwrapped and Under Covers

Up until now, the couple articles I've written here on Cloé Beaudoin have been on her original work: her acoustic ballads "Deliverance" and "Dying Awake," and of course her acoustic and full-band versions of her epic song, "Rest in Peace (RIP)." Yet this Canadian siren has more talent than I ever could have imagined as I review her back-catalog of videos on Youtube and take a look at some of her new uploads. It seems that many artists start out doing covers and the real test for them comes when they move from covering songs to writing their own original material. Yet sometimes, it is more intriguing to watch the motion in reverse, as once an artist has developed their own style through original work, it becomes interesting to see how they interpret another artist's music.
In the back-catalog, among covers of Linkin Park and Paramore, I find a year-old cover of Green Day's "21 Guns." When I first heard this song in May of 2009, I knew it was going to be huge: an epic ballad than sets the tone for the whole 21st Century Breakdown album. It's that one song that seems transcendent: full of life and rebirth all at the same time. Yet it grows in a whole new way when I listen to Beaudoin's cover of it. It has that same transcendent quality as the original, but there is something intense in a different way, almost as if the romance is coming from the other direction; whereas it was Billi Joe calling in the original, here Beaudoin is the one returning, and so lends to the song another level that it didn't have before.  
But that was a year ago, and to write about something a year old isn't exactly cutting edge. Yet Beaudoin has in the past week uploaded to new acoustic covers that just amaze me. A couple weeks ago I came across a new post on her Facebook fanpage alerting of a new cover, and so on a curious note I checked it out. A cover of Three Days Grace's new song "World So Cold" off their most recent album, Life Starts Now, the cover seemed odd at first: Beaudoin slows down the tempo and draws out the lyrics in breathy slight-pauses. But the minute she gets to the chorus, the speed immediately quickens, and she shoots it up, belting out the Amy Lee-style vocals that drew me to her originally. Just closing my eyes and listening, I know that this cover is special: there's just something about her breathy vocals married to the hardcore minor chords she plays on her guitar. I am at once addicted to the chorus and play it again and again.  
Yet even her Three Days Grace cover isn't the newest thing Beaudoin's done, though she only uploaded it no more than two weeks ago. This past Wednesday, Beaudoin uploaded yet another cover for my entertainment pleasure. This time it was a cover of fellow Canadians Sum 41's new single "Screaming Bloody Murder" from their upcoming release. Switching tracks from the post-grunge to the pop-punk, Beaudoin demonstrates again just how versatile she is and can be. Garnering just under a thousand views in just over four days, the cover showcases again Beaudoin's self-aware romantic vocals glued to an addictive melody and rhythm. The amazing pipes I have come to know Beaudoin for are prevalent and fit dynamically with the melodies she belts from her throat. I know this is a Sum 41 song and I am a huge Sum fan myself, but I must say in all honesty that if this was a Beaudoin original, I wouldn't be disappointed in any way. As with her cover of "World So Cold," Beaudoin slows down the tempo and then shoots forward during the choruses, lending to an already addictive track a certain sense of unique ambiguity that makes this song all the more impossible to turn off or turn down. 
Crystal clear from her covers as well as her originals, Cloé Beaudoin has that unique ability to transform and adapt herself to fit into any genre or style she wishes. It goes without saying that this song will be on repeat for the foreseeable future on my computer. Beaudoin continues her string of triumphs with this cover: most successful, most addictive.  

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