Tomorrow night sees the arrival of unstoppable force Gotye, as the Belgian-Australian singer and his cohorts take over a sold-out Verizon Theater to play a bunch of songs no one wants to hear till he closes the show with "Somebody That I Used to Know." The song plays on the radio every few minutes, has been given the Glee treatment, and was even parodied on Saturday Night Live. It has also become roughly the most covered song ever, thanks to groups and individual singers posting video after video of their take on the hit. Below you will see eight takes on "Somebody," ranging from the sublime to the awful.
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It should be noted that each of these takes is being rated on the 1 to 10 covers index, with 1 being Smash Mouth's cover of "I'm a Believer" and 10 being The El Michaels Affair's cover of "Shimmy Shimmy Ya."
PS22's chorus-only version These kids are adorable, and already stole the show at the 2011 Oscars with their rendition of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Now they're here to lay down the cover law. Score: 9. This is about as awesome as They Might Be Giants' cover of "Tubthumping."
Karmin's version The second most hated performer on Saturday Night Live last year returns to what made them famous and belts out a cover for Sirius radio. Honestly, I only made it a few seconds in. Score: -2. Karmin is worse than every crime Will.I.Am has ever committed.
Walk off the Earth's version Do you like gimmicks? Well you'll love this video: It's FIVE PEOPLE PLAYING ONE GUITAR! FUCKING UNIQUE, RIGHT? This sucks. Seriously, someone let me know when Harptallica does a version. Score: 1. This is Leann Rimes covering "Purple Rain" bad.
Pentatonix's acapella version Fuck you, Glee. Seriously, this shit is all your fault. Remember when acapella groups knew their place and just did commercial jingles and PBS game show themes? The worst part is the overtly dramatic beat-keeping these people do. LOOK AT ME, I'M HARMONIZING VIOLENTLY WITH MY BODY. Score: 4. This is like the first season of Glee's constant use of "Don't Stop Believin'" terrible.
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The Waffle Stompers say fuck it and do a six-person acapella/ukulele version There are no words. Score: 666. This is GWAR covering Kansas.
Army of 3's faux Pomplamoose version Army of 3 is Target songstress Ingrid Michaelson's attempt to cash in on the Pomplamoose phenomenon by ripping of their video style and doing covers the Portland duo has yet to get to. Posted in December of 2011, this just might be one of the first established artists covering the hit, as it predates U.S. airplay by a good three months. Score: 3. It's like a Pomplamoose Hyundai commercial, but without any cheer. Fun. and Hayley Williams of Paramore do a BBC Radio-sanctioned version The corporate synergy of this video is almost too much, as two big label acts combine Voltron style to perform a song every label head wishes they could have given to their latest up-and-coming project. Score: 5. This is Brittany Spears joining N'Sync at the Super Bowl to cover Aerosmith, but with less sequins.
The entire internet does Somebodies: A YouTube Orchestra Gotye said the hell with it and had a mash-up video of various covers made into one. There's banjos, a saxophone, someone's dad talking about chord progression, a harp, a shredding metal take and a guy blowing into plastic bottles. Then there's most of the videos above, and a parody video or two thrown in for good measure. Score: A 10. A fucking TEN! Seriously, good on Gotye for giving these people a moment to shine, and good for his ticket sales as well.