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Prince + Creep = Sticky Meat (in the bad way)

A couple of friends have forwarded me this video (which I’m sure will be taken down from YouTube by the IP police shortly) of Prince covering Radiohead’s “Creep” at Coachella. It’s been making the rounds on the internets this evening with comments like “EPIC!” and “OMFGTHISISTHEBESTCOVEREVERNOSERIOUSLYEVER!”

I respectfully disagree. It has some fantastic elements, no doubt. (I do absolutely love the guitar solo.) But the rest of it kinda makes me want to shove a screwdriver in my ears.

  1. Jesus Christ, GET TO THE POINT Mr. Nelson! This song should not be seven minutes long. And this is coming from a guy who just saw RUSH and loved it, for chrissake. The arc of the original song truly WAS epic. This stretches it to the point it feels belabored.
  2. I love Prince. I love Creep. But this is not a case of “two great tastes that taste great together.” This is like combining filet mignon and vanilla ice cream. They’re both wonderful things, but are not meant to be eaten together. (Come to think of it, that wouldn’t be kosher, anyway.) The ice cream will melt, and then you’re just left with sticky meat.
  3. This song was not meant to be sung sans the F-word. Seriously. It ruins one of the most poetic uses of the word in modern pop music. (On a similar note I liked Prince better back when he was a little – or a lot – naughty. The mischief is gone, and with it, some of the magic.)
  4. The original song has some of the best dynamics in modern pop music. This doesn’t crescendo in nearly the same way. The way the original builds up, the chorus hits you like a ten pound sledgehammer to the chest. But then it lets you down softly and you “float like a feather” back to the ground. Prince’s version seems almost binary in comparison.

I dunno. Maybe I’m being overly critical or a little harsh. Maybe it will grow on me. (I’ll listen to it again for the guitar work.) But this just rubs me the wrong way.

And now may all of my friends who believe that neither Prince nor Radiohead are capable of doing any wrong let loose with all of the “You just don’t get it! This is absolutely brilliant!” comments.

Like I said, I love them both, but this just ain’t right.

UPDATE: Found another video of the performance (Which is also sure to disappear from the interwebs.)