Saturday, November 1, 2014 · 9:59 a.m.

Five terrible versions of popular songs, as performed by Sean Phipps

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This is not good. You have been warned. Earlier this week, I found myself with an entire day and nothing much on my plate. This afforded time is usually an opportunity for either rampant creativity or complete nonfunction of my mental capacities. I’d like to think this column is somewhere in between, but I’ll let you be the judge of that. All of these songs were recorded in one take each on Wednesday, Jan. 30. My only edits are for consistancy and places where I said cuss words. Please enjoy. (Click on the titles to hear the terrible performances.)

Ke$ha, "Die Young"
(original video here)
I decided to go creepy with this one. This song by Ke$ha is impossible to not hear on a daily basis if you listen to radio stations other than NPR. When I record a song, I never go into it with any intentions. What comes out is what it is. And this was very creepy, and then it got angry. I don’t know why.
 
Justin Bieber (featuring Nicki Minaj), "Beauty and the Beat"
(original video here)
This got really country for some reason. I’m sure it’s because I don’t take this song seriously at all. The Bieber part was fine, but the shining moment of the song was the opportunity to do a country-style breakdown of Nicki Minaj’s absolutely ridiculous “rap” in the song. She rhymes “Bieber,” “either” and “weiner” in succession. Enjoy.
(original video here)
I’m channeling a bunch of different influences in this one. Listening back, I hear terrible attempts at Buddy Holly, Elvis and Antony Hegerty. The weird thing about this song is that I actually like the lyrics. It’s like explaining relationships to a child. The message is that regardless of how much you get burned—and you WILL—you just have to try anyway. This is a better message to kids than forcing someone into unconsciousness with a chemical substance so that you can touch their penis. Good on ya, Pink. 
Florida Georgia Line, "Cruise"
(original video here)
Eat your heart out, John Darnielle. First things first, this song is terrible. I cannot relate to this truckin’, cruisin’, lift-kit-loving lifestyle one single iota. This has been my problem with modern country music for years. Who is this stuff written for? Do these people exist? Are these the people that hang out at gas stations and go fishing in farm ponds? I decided to play this one completely straight. I think I was channeling Leo Kottke’s "Jack Gets Up" throughout. 

Whitney Houston "I Will Always Love You"
(original video here)
My vocal range just doesn’t allow me to sing this song, especially with that devastating key change during the last verse. I have respect for anyone who can actually do this justice—because I should be locked up for what I did to this song. I apologize to Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, and everybody else who has ever heard this song done properly. What do you think?

You can contact Sean Phipps via email and Twitter with comments and questions. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not Nooga.com or its employees.

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