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Boys – Devon (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Whilst innovation is important, sometimes it does pay to “give them what they want.” All too often, what they want is something familiar and so a well chosen cover is a great way of putting your own spin on something that people have heard before. Done right it can be the best of both worlds. Some of the work is done for you but you also get to express yourself and offer up a new version of a song which is already in the public consciousness. NYC singer-songwriter, Devon manages to get such a balancing act just right with her cover of Boys.

It always pays to pick something which isn’t a million miles away from your usual sound and Charli XCX’s Boys feels exactly right amongst Devon’s alt-pop leanings. But whereas the original seems to be cute and perky, Day-Glo and chintzy, Devon manages to, with only the slightest readjustments in tone, make it sound more mature and authentic, less throwaway perhaps. 

Although the changes she makes are subtle, they somehow change the context, from ditzy pop anthem to reflective and infectious acoustica. How cool is that? I’ll tell you…very cool! It’s probably a cliche to say it but she does make the song her own, so much so that it fits perfectly alongside the other songs in her back catalogue, a place where pop addictiveness meets more earnest troubadour vibes. And with a new single on its way shortly, Boys acts as a great calling card. Now that she has everybody’s attention she can unleash her own song and seal the deal. That’s how its done.

 

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