Weezer’s cover of Africa is boring, and here is why
Before I get into anything in particular, here is the cover in question.
In general, I am a big fan of covers. Sometimes a cover can even replace the original song in my memory. A good example, or maybe the best example of this is Hurt by Johnny Cash. The song was so well done, it has a profound effect on Trent Reznor.
“I never got to meet Johnny but I’m happy I contributed the way I did. It felt like a warm hug. For anyone who hasn’t seen it, I highly recommend checking it out. I have goose bumps right now thinking about it.
“Having Johnny Cash, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time, want to cover your song, that’s something that matters to me. It’s not so much what other people think but the fact that this guy felt that it was worthy of interpreting.
“He said afterwards it was a song that sounds like one he would have written in the ’60s and that’s wonderful”.
Here is Johnny Cash’s version of Hurt
and here is Trent’s
Cash’s cover had so much influence, it influenced other musician’s cover of the song.
In comparison to Hurt, Weezer’s cover of Africa is not trans-formative. At best, it is exacting and technically proficient. I think it sounds like a Muzak version of the song. If I were to walk into a Cheeseburger in Paradise and hurt Weezer playing it live, I might think. “I don’t know who is playing this, but this is pretty alright”, then I would order an All American Burger.
This cover has changed the way that I Interpret the song. Africa doesn’t do that. It just makes me want to have a cheeseburger.