7 fantastic rock covers of pop songs

ladygagaSince the pop music industry exploded, rock has somewhat taken a backseat in mainstream music. That is beginning to change, however, as music lovers begin to search for music that is more “unique” and “fresh,” turning to alternatives like indie and folk. Rock is also making a comeback, and today’s variety of rock bands will often cover rock classics or modern pop songs as they’re making their debut or trying to increase their fan bases. Here are seven recent rock covers of pop songs that particularly stand out:

1. “Uptown Funk,” originally performed by Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars, covered by Against the Current and Set It Off

Everyone’s new favorite single from Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars is covered by rock/pop rock groups Against the Current and Set It Off. Chrissy Costanza adds fantastic vocals to the song, but the overall feel of the cover is still a little mainstream for rock purists. Overall, it’s an enjoyable rock spin on the new hit.

2. “Blank Space,” originally performed by Taylor Swift, covered by Our Last Night

Our Last Night is known for its covers of modern pop songs, having released their own versions of Adele’s “Skyfall,” Maroon 5’s “Maps,” Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse,” and Selena Gomez’s “The Heart Wants What It Wants.” This poignant rock twist on Swift’s hugely popular “1989” single offers the male side of the story of “Blank Space,” verging on emo pop.

3. “Bad Romance,” originally performed by Lady Gaga, covered by Halestorm

This intense, hard rock rendition of Lady Gaga’s 2009 hit single features vocals from Halestorm’s lead singer Lizzy Hale accompanied by male vocals and impressive guitar riffs. The cover flirts with screamo, but never becomes hard enough to turn off the average listener.

4. “Rolling in the Deep,” originally performed by Adele, covered by Go Radio

In a punk rock take on Adele’s tragic ballad, Go Radio successfully transforms “Rolling in the Deep” into a track worthy of rock n roll, even though the band fails to capture Adele’s soaring vocals.

5. “Fireflies,” originally performed by Owl City, covered by Future Idiots

While this is definitely an emo pop/punk rock interpretation of Owl City, Future Idiots does a fantastic job, swapping the techno synthesizers for electric guitar. The feel of Future Idiots’ version is not as delicate and dreamy as Owl City’s, but promotes a more emotional, rock pop sound.

6. “Apologize,” originally performed by OneRepublic, covered by Silverstein

Silverstein evolved from the hard rock era as it came into the emo movement of the 2000s, and often involves screamo, although this cover of the viral hit “Apologize” is not quite as hardcore as some of Silverstein’s other projects.

7. “Beat It,” originally performed by Michael Jackson, covered by Fall Out Boy

Fall Out Boy’s tribute to Michael Jackson is unprecedented and unrivaled, accompanied by frontman Patrick Stumpf’s on-point vocals, several enviable guitar riffs, a special appearance from John Mayer, and the music video’s 80s costumes.

Photo of Lady Gaga credit: By Jazmin Million (Flickr: Lady Gaga) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons