click here to listen.
song length: 3m 40s
UPDATE (16 Feb 2009): Due to popular demand -- and since it's not commercially available anyway, so there's no loss of profit to Ms. Cole -- I'm uploading this song's MP3 for everyone to download. Credit goes to whoever recorded the performance in the first place and made it available in Napster, where I found it eons ago. Get it here.
i've posted two depressing songs in a row, i thought i'd do something different today. here's paula cole's version of jolene, a 1974 dolly parton original that was recently thrust into our collective consciousness by the white stripes' gender-bending cover. i never did like their effort, nor does the band impress me much, actually. jack white's vocals, although raw and emotional, also strike me as affected and distracting, especially in slow songs such as his take on jolene. in fact, in this song, his voice takes me back to the send me an angel days of the scorpions, a german hard-rock band i associate mostly with karaoke-singing inebriated trucker types (don't ask).
paula cole's version is more faithful to the pace of the original, and she does it so wickedly well with her piano and vocal technique. she comes thisclose to one-upping dolly parton's live version on live and well which is blissfully mind-boggling. the thing about paula is she makes it completely her own with her mad-woman voice, which becomes an instrument all its own toward the end of the song when she grunts and groans like a synthesizer gone berserk. you gotta hear it to believe it. of course, that makes her sound like she's actually going to eat that man-grabbing biatch jolene as opposed to begging her, but i'm not complaining.
what do you think?