So many reasons to dislike Gwyneth Paltrow. Here are two more, at least for me: First her cover of “Fuck You,” which she does on next week’s Glee, changes the title and everything else to “Forget You.” I understand we’re on network TV, and that babies love Glee, but I thought that show was all about the joy of hearing songs you already love, re-interpreted, so I’m guessing a lot of the audience has heard “Fuck You” already. Maybe it could have been bleeped or just muted? I know Cee Lo’s radio version of this song changes it to “Forget You” too, so I guess there’s no great solution.

Then Paltrow changes all the pronouns from the male to female perspective. Why is this necessary? Is it to feel more like you’re making the song your own? Is it not wanting to seem like you’re singing about a woman? (Note: Cee Lo wrote the very-feminine “Don’t Cha“.) I know Glee does this all the time, but this time it’s Paltrow, and after hearing the warbling melisma, and the change of gender, cursing, and phrasing on this song, it’s not even close to a “Fuck You” I like, so forget this cover, and forget Gwyneth Paltrow:

If that comes down, try this.

Is it better than William Shatner’s cover? Decide for yourself:

Pretty bad too!

I tried to think of my favorite, non-gender-changed cover songs. Here are a couple:

The Raincoats – “Lola”

The Futureheads – “Hounds Of Love”

The Slits – “I Heard It Through The Grapevine”

Anymore ideas? This kind of thing should be encouraged.

Comments (59)
  1. 1) “Forget You” already is the radio-edit clean version of the song.

    2) You are aware that it isn’t Gwenyth Paltrow herself who actually wrote the script and changed all of the pronouns from male to female, right? And I’m pretty sure

    I hate sticking up for famous people (especially famous people on Glee) but your attack is pretty flimsy. Plus I’m pretty sure that EVERY cover on Glee is terrible.

    • Yeah, I said both of those things in the post.

      • “Then Paltrow changes all the pronouns from the male to female perspective”
        to be fair, gm kinda does have a point, as you did more or less insinuate that it was in fact paltrow herself who changed the lyrics

      • shock-horror glee have moved into bad cover territory. your premise is a bit weak. Cee-lo on jules holland last week ‘forget you’, also its a TV show, i’m pretty sure Paltrow wont be putting out an album of covers anytime soon

    • Absolutely right. And you know, the fact that the writer acknowledges both of these things in the post make it all the more flimsy. Silly, worthless post. Let’s hold things to unreasonable standards! Glee is dumb and corny?? WHAT?? I’M SO INDIGNANT! WHY DIDN’T THEY CONSULT ME??

      Terrible idea from a terrible show. So why the outrage?

  2. *that “and i’m pretty sure” was an unfinished thought, sorry.

  3. I believe that Bob Dylan’s version of “House of the Rising Sun” is a good example:

  4. There is also a clean version on the radio that is ‘Eff You.’ That would’ve been better, but I’ve never seen Glee so maybe even that version is too edgy for it.

  5. I missed the article because I was listening Shatner to replace the “Sh” word with “stuff” and the “N” word with something indiscernible. But he did say “Fuck” a couple times.

    • The backup singers seem to be saying “just thought you should know, Shatner.” Which is one way to solve the problem of Shatner is white, I guess.

      Re. Gwyneth’s cover vs. Shat’s cover: can I have neither, please?

  6. The Shatner cover is fucking funny. And there is no why around this.

  7. Saying “forget” instead of “fuck” is a bad idea no matter who is singing it, because it’s two syllables instead of one! It makes the rhythm too awkward. So many other monosyllabic words to replace “fuck,” and they didn’t do it: screw, bone, smoosh, smang…

    • Ignatz, if you are smanging right, it takes like five syllables.

      • Well, considering my style of smang, let’s count it out:


        Shucks, only 4. Does foreplay count? If so, then I think we can add BRICK to the beginning.

  8. Is she going to be performing at the BET Awards?

  9. Also, off the top of my head:

    Pansy Division–
    Cyndi Lauper–
    PJ Harvey and Bjork–

  10. I THINK the bigger fuckin CRIME HERE though is all THAT FUCKIN ROBOT voice. JESUS.

    • AND the dancing. AND the acting. so much wrong with this.

    • I don’t watch much Glee, but seeing this clip and a few others, I too am bothered by all the digitizing of the human voice. From what I’ve seen, it seems like pretty much everyone except for Lea Michele (Spring Awakening, never forget) gets auto-tuned to hell. Which in the normal pop world happens more often than you realize, but this is a show about a glee club. The focal point of a glee club is the human voice in all its imperfections. Why don’t we just make a spin-off show about an all robot a cappella group?

  11. “Fuck Her.”

  12. What a clusterforget. Whoever’s singing (I’m not convinced that’s Paltrow’s voice) sounds like her sinuses are packed with meat. The voice has clearly been pitch corrected and otherwise worked to death in a studio. The lyrics become utter nonsense when they’re bowdlerized and the sexes are reversed. Why not “F You” instead of “Forget You”? “Yeah–Top 40″? Seriously?

    I have to say, though, Gwynnie still looks forgettable in that skirt.

  13. Still not as bad as Sheryl Crow’s “Sweet Child O’ Mine.” Which is the worst cover possible.

  14. Retarded article. Clearly the stereogum crowd does not overlap with the glee crowd, so why even post about it? Oh cuz hating on mainstream television gives you t3h 1nd13 cr3d. Keep on hatin’ stereogum.

    Also: Fuck William Shatner. That was the most unfunny video i’ve ever seen.

  15. shatner’s is way better

  16. The worst part about this is her shitty singing. The whole hardcore ‘Gum hate on Gwyneth is seriously tired, but this seriously does suck because her singing sucks. That’s all.

  17. Hey, thanks for pointing out the stupidity of gender-swapping in pop covers. Always bothers me, so it’s nice to see a significant blog commenting on it.

    The worst such incidents are when male singers cover that already obnoxious Katy Perry song and switch “boyfriend” to “girlfriend”, turning something potentially interestingly queer into a dull song about cheating.

    Worth thinking about why it happens, and why particular types of singer do it and other types don’t – apart from the fact that many of the singers who don’t gender swap tend to be queer in one wat or another. Is it driven by producers who think audiences are too stupid to be able to distinguish the singer from the narrative voice? Or is it the singers themselves who, post-Dylan, have over-personalised the act of singing, have made it about themselves rather than telling a story, and so are unable to sing a persona? There’s some interesting stuff going on with the identity politics and psychology and theory, in any case.

  18. maybe i’m just too hungover, but at the end did she say “let’s order some TACOOOOOS” in a really offensive way??

  19. The fact that no one’s mentioned “He Hit Me” by Grizzly Bear only emphasizes the decline of this site.

  20. Stereogum what are you doing?!! Allowing this kind of writing on this site is just bad for business, and imo takes away credibility from being a legit source of inspiration…unless this is supposed to be a parody of how cliche everyone that listens to ‘edgy, alternative music’ like Matt & Kim has become…Seriously, this is hating on Gwenyth just because its easy to hate on gwenyth–we get it, its super easy to rag on gwenyth on Glee–get an original idea or two, and start writing articles (if this can be called that) that actually provide insight into something…anything, worth while

  21. this site is becoming progressively shittier and Jessica is a bad addition.

    • Amen, Kristin. This is supposed to be an “indie” blog. Gwyneth Paltrow and Glee are about as indie as Michael Jackson, Kanye West and Susan Boyle, who all enjoyed articles on this blog recently. Bleck. What’s next? NFL recaps to satisfy the jock readers?

  22. If someone gets enjoyment from this, why be so ugly and negative about it…….it’s not my cup of tea, but people i know luv this stuff….lay off being negative and you will in fact be happier! If you can’t change the world, change yourself!

    • that was kinda my point–wasn’t trying to be negative, but, dedicating a whole article (again, I use that term loosely) to hating on Gwenyth Paltrow?!?! Really? I feel that is just being negative and useless and certainly not ‘newsworthy’, and, just too easy…But, yes, more power to people that find ways to make money off of writing stuff like this…i mean, at the end of the day, i did read it, right?

  23. I hate it when singers cover a song and change the pronouns. for example: Sheryl Crow

  24. i’m going out on a limb here. I really like Cee lo and think his new album is fun to listen to. That said, I’m really tired of “F You” even if it had never become a hit. I think Cee lo kills it (in a bad way) when he goes into that “Why…” part towards the end. It’s just too much chorus for me–he wears out one hell of a catchy hook just like Lenny Kravitz. a little restraint would have made that tune a classic…

    i should also say that i heard two, sort of good looking party girls at a Morning Benders show in D.C. singing that song to each other. Rather than it being sort of hot, i realized at that moment “I hate that song.” and i still do. If there’s a formula for a great song, “F— you” screws it up somehow despite having great base elements of a pop song.

    anybody agree with that? seriously in the context of music, who cares about Gwyneth?? slow news day stereogum???

  25. Mmmyezzz, I am reminded of that boy who sang “Paparazzi” at his school’s talent show (and subsequently on Ellen). He changed it to “I won’t stop until that GIRL is mine,” obviously enough, I guess, but I particularly enjoyed how he just rested silently instead of saying “lip liner” in the line “lip liner…cigarettes.” But he said cigarettes! Heteronormativity has clearly superseded health (and the law) in the minds of our youthz!!!!

  26. This post had so much potential but totally is a fail. Not funny nor interesting.

  27. On a semi-related topic, sometimes someone writes (and sings) a song in the voice of the opposite sex because it wouldn’t make sense otherwise. I am specifically thinking of Everclear’s “Volvo Driving Soccer Mom”, which isn’t “good” good but is “guilty pleasure” good, and pretty ballsy (ha!) for Alex Alexaalexisakakisis or whatever his name is to presume he knows what life is like for washed-up female porn stars.

  28. As far as reasons to dislike Paltrow covering Cee-lo, I would switch out the gender/cursing changes with the fact that it’s very obvious she’s using auto-tune which they do so much on Glee. It’s really annoying.

    And what’s more, if you hate Glee, then don’t watch it. For me, sometimes it’s a miss, but I’ve actually learned some about pop music history. Like when they re-enacted the Streisand-Garland duet/mash-up. I didn’t realize that actually happened until I YouTubed it. I’m not really fan of either of those artists, but I thought it was pretty cool.

  29. theres a new white rapper that is AWESOME! i heard he just got signed but not sure… check out his new song here its already getting radio airplay!

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