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Ben Howard "Call Me Maybe" Cover Reviewed

Ben Howard


  BBC Radio 1 does an adorable series in their live lounge of musicians doing covers of popular songs.  From Usher doing “Pumped Up Kicks” to Bastille doing “We Can’t Stop”.  All this silliness aside, seeing Ben Howard cover “Call Me Maybe”- pretty much one of the worst songs of all time- was stunning.  He completely made it his own and it was beautiful.

First off, I didn’t even recognise the song when they first started playing it.  It sounds nothing like the original; it’s much slower and stripped down.  The simplicity of it is stark and lovely, allowing Howard’s haunting voice to come and dance atop it.  If you’d never heard the original, there’s no way you would’ve thought this was some stupid pop song previously.  The bassist was also playing the drums, Ben was playing guitar gently and softly, and the addition of a cello/upright/some other large string instrument was perfect.

I never imagined that this song could be tender and slow; regardless, it’s like this song was made to be this way.  The sheer musicianship it required to change the tune that drastically is incredible.  However, nothing beats when Howard can’t help but giggle at the ridiculousness of the lyrics- specifically “all the other boys try to chase me”.

This is by far the best cover of this song ever.  It’s also one of the most brilliant things Howard (and co) has done- it’s so ridiculous how they were able to completely transform a pretty crappy song into a wonderful ballad that I’ll definitely be listening to over and over again.


1 Comment

  1. Hayley Jenkinson on April 25, 2020 at 4:44 am

    Hi I just wanted to know if you new the tempo/ time signature of Ben Howard’s cover version please?

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