In theory, Bucky Covington covering a rock song isn’t a bad idea – when at his best, he has a natural, believable southern rock edge to his voice. But you wouldn’t know that from listening to his version of “Gotta Be Somebody,” which finds his voice oddly processed and uncharacteristically dull.
The main issue is that the bite and passion that surge through the repetitive chorus in the original Nickelback version are largely if not completely absent from Covington’s version, leaving it stripped of raw emotion. If you can’t sing a song about your willingness to wait forever for your soulmate with a fighting desperation, why sing it at all? The arrangement is also quite jarring as a result of the country “re-vamping” of the song, and this is no more apparent than in the instrumental breakdown – with a smothered fiddle – before the bridge.
Covington’s always been the kind of artist who shines with the right material, so here’s to hoping he wises up and makes smarter musical decisions in the future.
Written by Chad Kroeger & Nickelback
Listen: Gotta Be Somebody