Unanswered Prayer

Dear Sugarland and Little Big Town,

Please stop covering “Like a Prayer.”

Sincerely,
Country Universe

CC: Tori Amos, Rufio, and the Cast of Glee.

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16 Comments

Filed under Dear Country Music, Miscellaneous Musings

16 Responses to Unanswered Prayer

  1. … And, with that, I think I’m officially off the Sugarland express, at least for the near future.

    (And Little Big Town, you’re on notice. Y’all know better).

    Not that anyone should be at all surprised by Jennifer Nettles’ affecting a ridiculous fake accent, but here she’s affecting Madonna’s ridiculous fake British-by-way-of-Detroit accent that even she didn’t start to affect until almost a decade after “Like a Prayer” came out. So is she mocking Madonna’s accent or paying homage to it? Does Jennifer Nettles even know the difference between those two things anymore?

    The “Irreplaceable” cover worked, at least a little bit, because Sugarland tried to make it sound like one of their own pop-country tunes. This is just poorly executed karaoke, and, per the CC’s, Glee already beat them to that punch.

  2. GregNo Gravatar

    hmmm…I actually liked it. It’s definitely not country but it’s a guilty pleasure of mine.

  3. I’m with Greg…I actually liked it! I don’t know why I like it but I do but to be honest when it comes to covering the song, no one does it better than the Glee cast (just my opinion). And no I must go hide in shame for admitting two things: 1. I like this cover and 2. I’m a total Gleek!

  4. Dan MillikenNo Gravatar

    It’s weird, because I could see this cover working – great song, strong singers, and that formula worked fantastically on “Life in a Northern Town” and well enough on “Sigh No More.” Somehow, it just doesn’t here.

    I so wish I could like Glee or its music. Good cast, fun premise, lots of cultural power – but horrible writing and syrupy, artificial recordings that won’t last (in my opinion, anyway). I do love their “Borderline / Open Your Heart” mashup, but it’s still too Auto-tuned. And I can’t stand Lea Michele’s singing style.

  5. Kevin John CoyneNo Gravatar

    It’s a tricky song to cover. Artists seem to take one of two routes. Treating it with reverence, like it’s a gospel song, or treating it with tongue firmly placed in cheek, like it’s a cheesy eighties song. It isn’t either.

  6. HeatherNo Gravatar

    I like the cover. What they should be more embarrassed about is Jennifer Nettles ‘dancing’!

  7. It doesn’t work like Glee‘s version did, it reminds me too much of Glee‘s version (which I loved), so I prefer Glee‘s version much more. This cannot be in rotation on CMT right now, is it??? Glad I don’t watch it anymore.

    This cover disproves all we thought about Sugarland after their fantastic covers off Live On The Inside…. Incredible Machine is probably part of the reason behind this… I don’t know what happened in just those 2 short years???

  8. Ditto to Dan regarding Glee. I tried. I do like the cover of “Dancing with Myself” though, minus the talking.

  9. Hard TimesNo Gravatar

    Kevin, Kevin, Kevin,

    Sometimes I just don’t get you. You admit to guilty pleasures like that awful Carrie Underwood song “Undo It” — sorry, that one’s going to follow you to the grave — yet you take offense at this harmless, feel-good cover. Yeah, it’s silly and not country, but it acknowledges the varied musical reference points of Sugarland’s fans, and Jennifer seems to derive a lot of joy from singing it.

  10. Sugarland’s 2nd single in the UK (from Incredible Machine) is planned to be “Tonight,” Rihanna is set to perform with these two on this year’s ACM’s….. They are really pushing it in terms of straddling the line between country and pop.

    I find it amazing that a group that I once hailed as sticking to their country roots, and being a pretty good ambassador for modern country music, would make so much of a shift to pop-ish music…. I mean, Shania did play both sides, but she stayed true to her country roots.

  11. Cory DeSteinNo Gravatar

    yikes….yikes.

  12. SeanNo Gravatar

    I usually agree with everything you say Kevin, but I have to disagree with you on this one. I love it! I don’t know if it’s because I’m a huge Sugarland fan and I was at the concert that video is taken from. I’m somewhere in the front there :) Nonetheless, I still like it a lot.

  13. PatrickNo Gravatar

    Anyone ever hear We Are The Fallen’s version?

  14. Soul Miners DaughterNo Gravatar

    I actually thought it was fine. I think that’s one thing I like about Sugarland is that they aren’t afraid to try new things and think out of the box. It’s not the same ole same ole that’s *expected* out of them by Music Row. They know who their fans are and play to THEM… NOT to the execs.

    I’m just thankful they aren’t taking the route of so many others in “country music” and shelling out THE. SAME. FORMULAIC. junk.
    If I have to hear one more song about three stages in life with the same *lesson*, or how “country” someone claims to be, or how some female is going to “break free!” or some guy can’t get back his girl cuz he was an idiot… well, let’s just say my i-pod full of ’70s music sounds better all the time.

    Give me Sugarland and Reba covering a Beyonce tune over another manufactured “ease up on the hair bleach” / “does my cap have enough faux worn spots on it” act anyday.

  15. I’m in agreement with Soul Miner’s Daughter more than any other commentator so far. I don’t particularly like this – but then again, I don’t very much like any of Madonna’s hits. (And I’ll forever disagree when you say ‘Like A Prayer’ isn’t a cheesy 80s song.) I still find it a bit interesting to hear Nettles sing it, and applaud Sugarland for sticking their necks out with different, innovative sounds.

    That said, I’ve sort of lost hope for the duo coming back to the pop-country sound of their first 3 albums. But at least what they’re doing is original.

  16. StephanieNo Gravatar

    Regardless of how good the cover may or may not be, you can’t say it lacked life. Everyone was having a great time, and isn’t that what music is about?

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