When Rhino released Girl Group Sounds: One Kiss Can Lead To Another boxset, I was all over it. There’s a whole range of emotion that tends to get overlooked by the patina of choreographed pop, but when you have torch songs from Dusty Springfield, guttural yearnings from Connie Francis, and the soul singing of Diana Ross with the Supremes — and you really just plant yourself inside the songs — it’s clear that coat of sugar is really just a veneer over a ton of complicated feelings. The Crystals’ “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” was probably a lot less gut-wrenching when it originally dropped than when Grizzly Bear took the overlap of their signature harmonies with that of the girl groups’ and repackaged that song into a bass-heavy devastation for their Friends EP. What Yo La Tengo does for the premiere episode of the fourth season The A.V. Club’s Undercover series is a completely polar opposite of the Grizzlies’ work. The band finds a way to process “Come See About Me” into a sweet ditty, a lot more lighthearted than the Supremes’ flirtatious original. If you really want to hear how malleable the sentiments of the song are, check out the grittier cover by the Afghan Whigs’ cover for their Uptown Avondale EP. Greg Dulli and the gang really knew how to dirty up a girl group track. Watch Yo La Tengo cover “Come See About Me” below.
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