Robyn Covers "When Doves Cry"

Not so long ago Robyn covered the goddess Björk’s “Hyperballad.” Now from Robyn’s session for BBC4′s On Track With SEAT comes her take on the god Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” aka the most experimental Billboard #1 the world will ever know. (Feel free to contest that claim, but come with evidentiary backup.) To wit, Robyn’s version rides on a synth line through the verses, which doesn’t feel out of place except when you remember that the original’s verses are just Prince’s voice over a beat. The 1984 track’s melody and performance and production are so overpowering that by the time the verse hits your mind’s ear is already implying the underlying chord progression, and while you’re filling that in, Prince has all the more space to flex and intone. It’s a musical sleight of hand that never fails to make me shake my head side to side (gently).

Anyway, Robyn’s generally wonderful, and so here she is, a wonderful and adventurously prodigious pop talent in her own right paying homage to The Artist with a sultry, keyboard heavy version of a stone cold classic. Watch it, download it:

(via Some Kind Of Awesome)

For your Zune:

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Comments (12)
  1. she sounds like a drunk girl at every keroke bar.

  2. download link not working for me.

  3. Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey is a weirder/better #1 than When Doves Cry

  4. She totally flipped the song. The original has absolutely no bass, it’s all drum machine and twinkling keyboards and she fattened it up hard. Truth be told though, a lot of the magic of the original is in the bass-less arrangement.

  5. LoL …when does dry?

  6. I’m not sure if this cover works for me. Maybe I’m too used to hearing the Prince version after listening to it 700 trillion times, so the fleshed out arrangement sounds a little bit wrong.

    Ah but Prince, the greatest! O Prince my Prince! our fearful trip is done,
    The song has weathered every rack, the prize we sought is won,
    The show is near, the synths I hear, the people all exulting,
    While follow eyes the steady beat, the melody grim and daring…



    i am not a fan of damien rice whatsoever but i would much rather hear someone rework a song and feel it than robyn (who’s comeback is awful, btw) fool around with her band. she tries sooo hard, enunciating the ends of syllables and ending with that annoying “uh” and “eh”

    “alone-eh in a world that is so colllllllldddd-uh”
    “maybe you’re just like mah mothahhhhh… she’s nevah satisfyeeeuuuhhhd”

  9. The Be Good Tanyas’ cover of this is 1000 x better, 1000 x more interesting, soulful.

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