The Dude Abides: What the American Idol Top 10 Should Sing for 80s Week – Maddie Walker
WHAT SHE SHOULD SING: “Take On Me,” A-ha
Here’s the problem with country music today compared to country music in the 1980s.
Today’s country music is pretty much pop music with acoustic guitars and banjos and even if you hate it it’s still listenable. Country music from the 80s is awful unless you really, really, really love country music and, surprise!, not a lot of people really love country music, they just like wearing cowboys boots, 10-gallon hats and getting brainlessly drunk because Luke Bryan is in town.
So Maddie needs to do a country song and the thing that sucks is the 80s weren’t filled with country music a JBAS should sing. It won’t really endure her to her audience. So we need to improvise this thing. (PS This video is better than anything Beyonce has ever done)
So how do we make one of the best pop songs ever created into a country hit for Miss Walker?
I found this. The video is crap and the recording is awful, but listen to the basic idea of the cover:
So Ricky Minor, Michael Orland and the rest of the Idol band are clearly more talented than the two guys playing guitar in the video (to be fair, it could be the basement recording that makes it sound bad) but the point is this – that acoustic sound can be easily translated to a country twang.
If that happens, it opens the door for Maddie to sing this and while I think that girl in the YouTube is singing fine, Maddie’s got better pipes. Plus, she’s all fired up after her critique last week meaning she’s out for blood and when Maddie’s out for blood, people get murdered on stage.
She’s sort of in the same boat as Daniel Seavey. The country folk will keep voting for her, but if she does “Take On Me” and pulls it off, she’ll pick up a ton of support because this is another song that every single person loves. It’s a terrific tune and incredibly catchy. Don’t believe me?
Here’s a clip from a couple years ago. It’s a BASEBALL game. (Better video from Deadspin HERE).
There’s a ton of great covers of this song and the first one I always think of is from 90s ska band Reel Big Fish.
Their version is awesome and I could definitely see Joey Cook doing a Joey/ska version of an 80s hit and the judges would be none the wiser because Harry Connick looks down at ska, Keith Urban was in the outback (as opposed to an Outback) and J-Lo was caught up with Diddy and clubs and guns and Ja Rule.
So anyway, because there’s so much love out there for this song, I really think it would work for Maddie. She gets to do her country thing, do it with a fun song and people at home go bananas because it was a song they knew sung in a way they’d never expect.