Saturday, March 5, 2016

COVER Boy: What I Think Steve Grand Should Cover

Because I have nerve and want to have my thoughts taken seriously (OK, I want to feel important and listened to.) I thought I'd make an innocuous wishlist of songs I'd like to hear singer/songwriter Steve Grand should cover. Whether it's for a concert or a promotional single a la "Bennie and the Jets", nothing says a wishlist is verboten.

Some rules to establish:
- Most if not all selections are going to be some vein of pop. He is a pop singer/songwriter similar in theory to Bruce Springsteen mixed with Colbie Caillat's pep with smidgens of Lady Gaga and Fall Out Boy. Unlike media outlets, I will always respect that he isn't country.

- Songs that suck like "Bleeding Love", "Counting Stars", etc. are disqualified as Grand has done nothing to deserve terrible material like that.

The songs are presented in no particular order/rank.

"Enjoy the Silence" by Depeche Mode: This song came up as I was listening to the radio and the registers emitted made me think, "If Steve wanted to show an audience his developing lower register skills, this could be a good place to start."
Also, New Wave songs like this could maybe drive home that he isn't "country".

"People Talk" by Donna Summer: This gem disrespected by Geffen is just the pop song I think Steve could nail. He can put energy and dynamics behind this song as he relates it to his "perception vs. reality" dealings being a newfound celebrity figure in a little less than but going on 3 years.

"You and I" or "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga: Back in his "Steve Starchild" days, Grand covered "You and I" so this is territory he could visit again. "Paparazzi" is a challenging dance/pop song he could pull off especially considering Gaga songs are just as technically demanding as Adele songs.
Plus, nothing says "I'm a pop singer in the making" like covering Mother Monster.

"Young & Beautiful" or "Shades of Cool" by Lana Del Rey: Sort of playing off the Depeche Mode suggestion, both LDR songs can show off improvements or show off his under-appreciated lower registers. For the pop mentioned here, LDR can actually translate the easiest to Grand's style of "sit at the piano and SLAY" style of shows.
FUN Fact: Back when Steve had Periscope AKA Ustream with Relevance for a hot minute, "Young & Beautiful" was sung around before or after one of his 2015 Pride performances but before the dreaded social media break.

"Don't Call Me Baby" by Madison Avenue: Another case of being blatant dance/pop, but this time meant as a pleasant surprise to the audience. Also, most of the song relates to the "Loving Again" lyric "Burn me once, alright/But burn me twice & boy you betta watch your behind!"

"You're Still the One" or "That Don't Impress Me Much" by Shania Twain: -_- "She's country!" I'm relying on the 2 Shania songs that managed to escape the hellish label country and become damn near genre-less.
These happen to be songs that can play into his vulnerable and playful heartbreaker sides respectively.

"Haunted" by Beyoncé: Another case of lower register work, but mixed with adding to his growing status as a sex symbol (Yes, he's a sex symbol in the making. Don't give me that look.) The thought of Grand getting his sexy on while singing "I know if I'm onto you, I'm on to you/Onto you, I'm onto you/Onto you, you must be on to me" just seems like a no-brainer.

"Get Along With You" or "Suspended" by Kelis: For as much as "4th of July (Fireworks)" is my favorite Kelis song ever, I know full damn well "Get Along With You" or "Suspended" can get the job done more effectively as it gives Steve lyrical depth to play off of.
When done right, Steve does possess the nuanced and disciplined vocals to take on such subtle pop/R&B cuts.

"Heart of Glass" by Blondie: Disco made by a pop/punk band? That's like pop music made by a pop/Americana artist who gets mislabeled "country"...kidding aside, it's a goddamn classic and this song can allow him to cut loose without sacrificing his performance value.

This is only a condensed "wishlist" for someone who frankly does whatever the fuck he wants at his discretion. It works for him, but this is still worth a read.

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