« Previous | Main | Next »

Shayne Ward - 'Gotta Be Somebody'

Post categories:

Fraser McAlpine | 10:31 UK time, Thursday, 11 November 2010

Shayne Ward

Oh MAN ALIVE! In order to explain what has happened to me in the course of listening to this song, I've got to admit a couple of things. Number one, I had no idea this was a Nickelback cover. If I've heard the song before, it must've been jammed into the place in my brain I try to visit as infrequently as possible, next to all the other Nickelback hits.

So, my first experience of 'Gotta Be Somebody' was Shayne's tremulous, quavery, autotuned-to-robot-hell-and-back version. And what's interesting about it is that it's not bad, as modern pop singles go, but lacks something in the personality department. That songwriting trick of repeating a melody fragment over a changing four-chord trick, the thing the Script do all the time, the thing Snow Patrol do all the time, the thing that TONS of modern pop songs do all the time...that's a neat trick, but it's getting boring.

So, coming at this thing from a fresh perspective leads to a certain amount of eye-rolling because it lacks a fresh perspective, even though it's not all that fresh.

And they say Nickelback can't do irony!

(Here's the video. It's nippy.)

So, having immersed myself in the Shayne version for a long time, having appreciated those helium highs and mournful wails, having been suitably beaten down by the sonic hugeness of the Westlife Keychange Moment (even though the key does not change, which is kind of novel for this sort of a thing), going to listen to the Nickelback original came as something of a shock.

It's partly a shock because Shayne's pleading croon could not contrast more sharply with Chad Kroeger's piggy burp. Chad's is a voice that requires a bit of acclimatising, I have decided. And the more used to Shayne's version I got, the piggier and burpier Chad's voice seemed to get. Hilariously piggyburpy, in fact.

And then, just as I was giggling at the pure eye-peeling G-force shock of hearing Chad after hearing Shayne, I suddenly realised I HAD heard the song before. And the reason I'd heard it before is because I've reviewed it before.

So, the final ironic tally is this: I'm laughing with surprise at a man who is singing a song I should already know, in the same voice he used the first time I heard it, because it sounds so strange and different to another man who has come along and re-sung it since then.

And the fact that I am banging on about all of this should be taken as a commentary on how interesting the song itself turns out to be. Until Wagner gets to have a go on it, obv.

Three starsDownload: Out now

BBC Music page

(Fraser McAlpine)

PS: Remember when Joe McElderry released 'Ambitions' and I said it was funny because that "ambitions are already starting to fade" chorus makes for quite a bleak story when placed next to that of 'The Climb'? Well it's now been revealed that Joe's next single is going to be 'Someone Wake Me Up'. Conspiracy theorists, do your worst!

Pop Music Speaks! says: "He gave a pop feel to the song and it did not work for me."

Music is the Door to the Soul says: "Shayne looks hot in the video! I wonder why he was half naked nearly all of it?"



BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.