Thursday, June 18, 2015

Perfect (Cover) Songs - Si Una Vez

adventures in coverland
There are some other good ones on their cover album.
I remember back in the 90s, seeing and hearing Selena all the time in Miami, but didn't realize how big she really was until her death and then the fact that a movie was made nailed it. I always assumed she was just known to pockets of Hispanic communities, but maybe she was bigger than that. I was never really a fan, but there were a couple of songs that sort of wound their way into my ears. So a couple years ago, when I heard this song, I knew it sounded familiar but had to dig to find out why. Sure enough, it was Selena. But Girl in a Coma's version of "Si Una Vez" is way more to my liking. It's a perfect cover.

Taking this Tejano fuck-off ballad and amping it up in every way, they really put the anger in your face. Not that the original didn't already have some of that bite, I mean, it's in the lyrics, "If once I said I loved you, I regret it," but this version's energy is undeniable. From that western guitar intro that announces this as a final stand off and makes sure to keep us in Texas this is oozing with moody disdain for this former lover. Once that punky beat kicks in, this song takes comfort in that hate, completely dismissing that old flame as nothing but a mistake. It's infectious and hard for me to listen to less than 3 times in a row.

From the first time I heard Nina Diaz's vocals, I was mesmerized. She has an odd style and a very unique type of vibrato, some strange pronunciations, and it all comes together to make her one of my favorite singers. She can go from sweet to angry or otherwise devastatingly dramatic on dime, which makes her perfect for this song. Of course I always find her vocals interesting, so it's not just this song. But something about this particular song, maybe because it's an unexpected cover from a band named for a Smith's song, just stands out to me. It's surprising and yet makes perfect sense. It's a perfect cover.

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