Macy Gray Covers Kanye West's "Love Lockdown"
Some songs are not meant to be redone. Such is the case with Macy Gray’s cover of Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown.” Sampling Nina Simone’s 1976 “Buck” record, Gray’s raspy rendition turns a story of irreparable heartbreak into a gospel-tinged testimony, which would’ve been good, had that been West’s vision.
Not only does the sad song get a production makeover -- instead of West’s original African drums that, in 2008, pounded through a listener’s ears like a heartbeat, there are now funky horns -- the lyrics are also sped up this time, thus hindering one’s ability to slowly fall apart, as the rapper did over ex-girlfriend Alexis Phifer.
“I’m not lovin’ you, way I wanted to. I can’t keep my cool, so I keep it true,” sings Gray in her amped-up soul sister voice. It’s almost upbeat in a way, and we’re not sure if that is a good thing.
There is one shining moment in the song, when Gray turns the chorus into a jilted lover’s anthem: “Keep your love locked down, and you lose,” she laments.
However, that is the only redeemable moment, and the song continues on in the same awkward fashion.
Gray’s “Love Lockdown” cover, along with remakes of the Eurythmics, Metallica and Arcade Fire, are all on her just-released aptly named covers album, Covered. Listen below.
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