The first thing I noticed was all the cover songs. They're literally Everywhere. Being old-ish, I tend to notice recycled songs from 20 yrs or so ago.
Newer bands are covering songs from the 70s and 80s like there's no tomorrow. I honestly don't ever remember a time when this was a prevalent as it seems to be right now. Limp Bizkit was probably the first one that really caught my notice, with their cover of Behind Blue Eyes (which I thought they did a good job with, amazingly enough). Mostly, that one caught my attention because it happened to be my favorite song by The Who, but there's tons and tons of others. Evanescence has even done a cover of Enter Sandman, of all things. That one, I'm kinda scared to listen to, because I'm not sure there's anyone alive who can do it justice beyond Metallica themselves. I don't picture Amy Lee having the sort of voice to carry that off. At all. But I could be wrong. It's been known to happen.
Nouvelle Vague also did a nice job with their reworking of I Melt With You. I have to admit, a lot of these covers have surprised me with how well they've been redone. Normally, I'm not a big fan of cover songs. Mostly because so many of them frankly suck. It's really hard, in my opinion, to match what the original artist did with the songs. Especially with songs I consider classics and remember really well from their first time around.
I loathed, beyond all reason, the Dixie Chicks cover of Landslide. They should step away from Stevie Nicks' and Fleeetwood Macs' music. No, really. Because they'll never manage to match that, much less top it. Really, the country singers in general - much as I actually like some of them - should stay away from pop and rock covers. It rarely works out well, though I have to admit liking the bits of .Cherokee Nation that Tim McGraw used in Indian Outlaw. Almost as much because I wasn't sure I might not be the only person who remembered that song as that he did a decent job with it.
Surprisingly, though, what I've heard recently I actually like. Either these bands are getting better at this sort of thing, or I'm getting less critical in my old age. Somehow, I think it's a lot more likely to be the former than the latter.
Still, it amuses me to see all this come back around into the music world. Even if I don't believe a lot of it technically actually left. Just sort of adopted an alias and melted into the background. But, for all the jokes and derision heaped onto some of the hair bands of the 80s, guess what? From what I'm seeing, they're baaaaack.
They don't call themselves that, of course, but the sound is the same. Groups like Nickleback, Dashboard Confessional, and Hinderhave music that could've been done by Def Leppard, Guns N' Roses, or Aerosmith. They're not the only ones, of course. If I sat down and really thought about it, I could come up with tons more. But I'm lazy, and those are the ones that came most immediately to mind.
It doesn't stop there, either. Dancer In The Fire could've just as easily been sung by Jackson Browne. As could a lot of the stuff by James Morrisonand James Blunt. And, as I was listening to Stockholm Syndrome a couple of nights ago, it hit me that there was something really familiar-sounding going on there. It took me a second, but I realized that I was getting a huge Queen vibe from them. They don't pull it off with the same flair, but it's very much there. Or tries to be. Along with more than a slight hint of ELO.
Like I said, I'm highly amused by all this. Now, I'm just waiting for someone to remake the Saturday Night Fever Album. Wearing Devo's flowerpot hats on their head while they're doing it, most likely, because I know it's coming. And you want it. You know you do.