What do Ke$ha and Bob Dylan have in common? Well, uhh, they’re both unconventional vocalists. Hmm, what else? Dylan has a song called “Cocaine Blues”, and Ke$ha probably snorts a lotta blow when she goes out, so there’s that.
Dylan also happens to be one of Ke$ha’s musical idols, with the dollar sign diva often stating in interviews that his 1969 release Nashville Skyline is her favorite album of all time. So it was only fitting that our girl be included on the star-studded four-CD Bob Dylan tribute album, Chimes of Freedom, which is being released in January to commemorate Amnesty International’s 50th anniversary.
For her contribution to the album, Kween$ha has chosen Dylan’s depressing breakup tune “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” from 1963′s The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. But in her usual unpredictable fashion. she hasn’t just done a standard by-the-numbers cover — she’s re-worked the vocal delivery, production, and entire concept behind the original.
“It seemed like a suicide note to the love of my life and to my former life,” she told Rolling Stone when discussing her interpretation of the classic. “Because everything in my life has changed so much. And it went from being this ambiguous interpretation – this idea we had – to it being so completely relevant to everything I’m going through. I’m so lucky and blessed, but there are moments that are just so incredibly lonely that it’s indescribable. And I’ve never written a song that’s admitted that. Singing Bob Dylan’s words and feeling my own emotion through it – it was a very intense moment for me.”
Ke$ha chokes her way through the lyrics of the song, sobbing the opening line, “well it ain’t no use to sit and wonder why”, with a background of dead silence behind her. As she sniffles and sings, a few ominous strings slowly enter the picture, haunting the singer for a while until they fade away again, ending the song how it began — in silence.
Dylan’s original is rather folky in its production, with a more introspective vibe in the delivery than Ke$ha’s tragic doom & gloom approach. There’s not much point covering a song if you’re just going to re-sing it the exact same way and deliver a less interesting version of the original, so it’s good that K-Dollar put a completely new spin on the classic.
According to Ke$ha, she recorded it in her bedroom on Garage Band in one-take while crying uncontrollably, and I have to say that her voice sounded a trillion times better than when I saw Dylan’s last in concert a couple of months ago. It was just two hours of inaudible mumbling that left me wishing I had just stayed home with a spliff and the CD in the player.
Sorry Bobby, I love ya, but stay off of the tour circuit. As for Ke$ha: flawless as always!