Review: Bucky Covington, “Gotta Be Somebody”

buckycovington10-x600In 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

Grade: D+

Listen: Gotta Be Somebody


  1. I have listened to this song and I must disagree with you. I think Bucky does a great job and I think his vocals are wonderful on this song. I love the “country-fied” version of Gotta Be Somebody. I also just saw the video over at CMT and it’s great. You should go take a look!

  2. Tara,
    I could not agree more. As I’ve admitted already, the Nickelback song is a guilty pleasure for me, even though I’m actually not familiar with any of their other songs. I just happened to hear this in a store (FYE), of all places, and liked it. Covington’s version is just downright awful. As you said, his voice is unbelievably autotuned and he’s singing the song as if he’s at a kareoke bar rather than a professional studio. The Nickelback version at least has some personality, which is what Covington’s version ultimately lacks.

  3. I am listening to the live version that will be out shortly on a Live EP and he sings it quite well there. The process is gone and you can hear his personality though it still is muted, even if it isn’t as muted as the studio version.

  4. If Bucky Covington was playing a free concert in my backyard, I wouldn’t go. I’d probably just drive around for a few hours disturbed my time interupted. To me, he will always be an American Idol reject that a label snatched up to make quick a quick buck. I just can’t believe him as a real artist when all he did was audition for American Idol and became involved in some labels marketing scheme. There’s no way he would have landed any kind of record deal with that voice. I just dont want to support some reality TV stars quest to prolong 15 minutes of fame. Just my opinion.

  5. I like the Bucky version. Never listened to rock and cant compare to the nickleback version but I really really like the song and Bucky’s voice

  6. I’m no less sympathetic to reality TV stars than I am to real artists, and I really don’t care if someone just fit in with a label’s marketing scheme or if they developed their own identity, by themselves. None of that matters to me. And I think Bucky’s voice is better than the voices of some “real artists,” (Id rather listen to Bucky’s voice in 2009 than George Jones’s 2009 voice) but I haven’t enjoyed his singles at all. I just couldn’t stomach “i’ll Walk” or “Different World.” This is a bit better than those, so I say Bucky is improving.

  7. I don’t care how someone gets his start either. I just care about the talent. While I think Bucky has an alright voice (though it really does sound over processed in this song), I still take George Jone’s voice over Bucky’s. I’m very partial to the Possum though and his voice is meant to sound old; it almost always has.

  8. I actually think he sounded pretty good on “It’s Good to Be Us”, but that’s the only one that’s worked for me at all.

  9. This is painful to listen to for sure. I liked the Nickelback recording, and I’ve enjoyed most of their music from the past decade. I was never a fan of Bucky Covington’s voice or his music anyway – but I don’t care if he came from American Idol, Nashville Star, or American’s Got Talent … I just don’t like his music. Period.

    Well-written review. I agree totally.

  10. Terrible. How’d this guy make it American Idol? Baffles me that he got a record deal when there are so many talented people in Nashvile.

    His inclusion on country radio confuses me almost as the record label that dared to sign the horrific Rodney Atkins.

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