Not long ago I pleaded on Facebook for someone to share some (totally legal) Morning Benders mp3s with me, because I decided I had gone long enough living under my Morning Benders-less rock. It seemed every magazine I leafed through and every blog I clicked on had some mention of Morning Benders, so…what was all the fuss about? RFC EIC Amber Valentine quickly obliged my request and sent over a few files. What I did next was possibly sort of odd. I listened to Bedroom Covers first. So, for my first impression of Morning Benders, I listened to an entire album of Morning Benders playing music that isn’t the Morning Benders’.
There are many great, semi-obscure choices from notable artists on Bedroom Covers that I assume Morning Benders culled from their list of musical influences (however, I can’t be sure, because I still haven’t actually listened to Morning Benders’ music). I’m certain that I’m only one in a long list of people to have a mini swoon attack over the cover of Cardigans’ “Lovefool,” which has an edgy and ethereal feel akin to cloudwatching with a flask of whiskey in hand. Something warm overtakes you as Chris Chu huskily croons “say that you need me” and makes the ‘90s superhit his own forlorn ode. Similarly hushed versions of Roy Orbison’s “Crying” and The Smiths’ “I Won’t Share You” flank the release. However, no cover nailed it for me quite like the revamped “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love?,” by The Ronettes.
Rocking beehives, heavy eyeliner and mini-dresses with the best of ‘em in the heyday of the sultry ‘60s girl group, The Ronettes are a band that you may think you have never heard but have probably heard over and over again in your lifetime. In fact, Eddie Money’s semi-ridiculous superhit “Take Me Home Tonight” features lead Ronette Ronnie Spector belting out the female vocals, and even references Ronnie herself and The Ronettes’ hit “Be My Baby” within its chorus.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the original, and I wouldn’t necessarily say that I prefer the Morning Benders’ version. However, this column is all about people covering songs we love, right? And there’s a lot to adulate about “Why Don’t They Let Us Fall in Love?” The lyrics are cheeky and smart, and the harmonies are to die for. The Morning Benders version nicely complements and updates the tune, and brings its evergreen musings about people trying to steer the course of young love against the grain to a new audience. The Benders’ version has a slightly pop-punk feel to match its nose in the air lyrics, and I cannot stop crooning along at home.
In my opinion, an album full of covers is not for every band, and a cover album may get a big ‘ole thumbs down from many critical listeners, as well. However, I think Morning Benders artfully sent a nod to the bands they adore without mutilating the songs we already know, and I am pleased to listen.