From the latest round of nominees:
Faith No More’s “Easy”, a Lionel Richie cover. The deadpan, the guitar solo, the bored drag queens … Love it:
The ironic thing about this cover? It’s not really that ironic. A little tongue-in-cheek perhaps, but it really is a tribute from a band as far removed from the R&B/soul genre as could possibly be.
The next nominee also avoids irony:
If you’ve never heard this before, prepare yourself. Israel Kamakawiwoʻole’s version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is so beautiful that it gives me chills. I’m not a fan of re-imagined versions of childhood favorites, but this is transcendent:
Another adds, “There’s no way a 500 pound Hawaiian dude should have the voice of an angel.” Another elaborates a bit:
It may certainly seem cliche’ at this point to put in this entry, especially nearly a decade after his death and this song’s exposure in a few Hollywood films, but the song still resonates something very beautiful. First off, Bruddah Iz was not exactly your typical “American Idol” wannabe pop icon. He lacked the looks – indeed, he had an untimely death due to his health problems related to his obesity – YET he remained true to his very smooth and mellow style, that was still able to capture the hearts and minds of so many people in the world … and in turn introducing much of us to a then largely unknown and small aspect of local/regional music in our country.
How? Not by any real big commercial push from the local Hawaiian music producers, but rather appearing in a few popular films and TV shows during some of their most memorable moments. Who does not remember hearing this song during Dr. Mark Greene’s final moments in “ER?” The song hit the top 40 in 10 countries around the world, and the album itself went double to triple platinum in 3 – not through any creative use of an autotune, a sexy/controversial music video, nor even by showing any cool/slick dance moves. All it took was a very humble man, with a voice and heart that was bigger than the island from which he was raised, and accompanying himself with an instrument that was shorter than one of his upper limbs.
Finally, his message still has a lot of meaning for us today, especially in light of the recent international crises we are facing; It helps us believe that despite all this, there are still many people and aspects about our world that will always be “wonderful.”
One more fan concedes:
Yes, it’s overly sentimental, but, in times like these, I need this.