Wednesday, 17 December 2008

You don't really care for music, do you?

I guess there will be no stopping the juggernaut that is X Factor winner Alexandra Burke's version of Hallelujah topping the charts for Christmas. I'm sure she's a lovely lady and I'm sure she can sing a bit - I bet she'd go down well at your local's karaoke night. But why did she, or more specifically Simon Cowell, have to release this song? Is it because evil Cowell heard the Internet rumours of a concerted effort to get a Welsh-language version of the same song to the coveted Christmas Number One spot, derailing the X Factor express into the bargain? And so gazumped said plans by releasing the self-same song? Well, maybe. Whatever else he may be (sad, Botoxed, delusional, high-waisted, wig-wearing (?), richer than Croesus, the list is depressingly long), he knows a trick or two about the cynical manipulation of chart music to ensure a hit. Not a career with any longevity for poor Alexandra, of course, but a hit to line his pockets, of yes.

So what of the Welsh-language version of Hallelujah? Well, it's by Brigyn and is lovely, but don't expect it to be troubling the charts. There's more hope (although still none, realistically) of the late Jeff Buckley sticking one to the man (the man being Cowell, of course), as his version has been re-released and is barnstorming the charts too. But that's almost as cynical an exercise as Mr Cowell's machinations, with Buckley's estate and/or record label clearly looking to jump on the X Factor bandwagon. A shame.

Of course, the song has been covered countless times, and maybe some others will be rush-released and creep into the charts too, who knows. What I will say is that the original by Leonard Cohen has also been re-released, and is worthy of your money, I'd say.

I guess I should be happy that a decent song will top the charts this Christmas. I just wish it was a credible version. Bah, humbug...

Some versions on YouTube: Leonard Cohen | Jeff Buckley | John Cale | Rufus Wainwright | Brigyn | Imogen Heap | Tim Minchin | Fall Out Boy

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