Sunday, 13 March 2011

George Michael - True Faith

George Michael's version of True Faith is out today and deserves a bit of attention of its own. Based on our viewing figures over the past couple of weeks, this one song has been anticipated more hotly than the release of REM's Collapse Into Now. Perhaps that's because there wasn't much chance to preview True Faith prior to its release - the song only appeared on George Michael's official web site a few days ago.

However, now it's out and you can buy it for yourself (digital downloads today and physical CD format from tomorrow) - and you also get the peace of mind of knowing you're supporting a good cause, in the form of Comic Relief. Whether or not this coming Red Nose Day weekend will end with George at number one in the singles charts remains to be seen. Personally, I think True Faith will either do very well indeed, or not very well at all. I'm hoping for the former, but it's hard to gauge - needless to say, George has never really stuck to the middle ground during his career.


What's it Like?

George has definitely put his own stamp on True Faith for this version of the song. It's a broken-down, trance-like makeover for what was originally a fairly upbeat track. Expect electronic vocals that take centre stage, while the backing music is actually very subtle.

Does it work? Well, it's not a direct cover version of the original and it's not your normal charity song, but True Faith has a lot of appeal. It probably demands a mature and independently thinking listener, but there are plenty of those out there.

The Verdict

There are a few ways George Michael could have gone with this cover, and none of them would have pleased everybody. The original New Order version is too cherished for a 'new' interpretation to be universally accepted. However, he's managed to keep a couple of the musical motifs - and, of course, the lyrics - from the original while making it fresh and distinctive for 2011.

As I said in my opening above, it's impossible to guess how well this will sell - it could be that all of those people who were interested in it over the past couple of weeks just wanted to know what it sounds like. It has the added assistance of being for charity, and it's a pretty good tune that a lot of people out there have fond memories of the first time around, so I'm hoping for big things.


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