Punk Goes Pop
By: Nevra Azerkan
I was somewhat disappointed with Volume 4, so I didn’t have such high expectations this time around for Volume 5 even though the lineup and covers looked like a vast improvement. When you think of Pop in 2012, artists such as Bruno Mars, Carly Rae Jepsen, Justin Bieber, Rihanna and The Wanted are a must. So to see them all included in this version gave me hope.
The full track listing for Punk Goes Pop 5 is: 1. Memphis May Fire – Grenade (Originally recorded by Bruno Mars), 2. Upon This Dawning – Call Me Maybe (Originally recorded by Carly Rae Jepsen), 3. Mayday Parade – Somebody That I Used To Know (Feat. Vic Fuentes) (originally recorded by Gotye), 4. We Came As Romans – Glad You Came (Originally recorded by The Wanted), 5. Like Moths To Flames – Some Nights (Originally recorded by Fun.), 6. Breathe Carolina – Billie Jean (Originally recorded by Michael Jackson), 7. Forever The Sickest Kids – We Found Love (Originally recorded by Rihanna), 8. Issues – Boyfriend (Originally recorded by Justin Bieber), 9. The Maine – Girls Just Want To Have Fun (Feat. Adam Lazzara) (Originally recorded by Cyndi Lauper), 10. Crown The Empire – Payphone (Originally recorded by Maroon 5), 11. Craig Owens – Paradise (Originally recorded by Coldplay), 12. The Word Alive – Mercy (Originally recorded by Kanye West), and 13. SECRETS – Ass Back Home (Originally recorded by Gym Class Heroes).
Memphis May Fire’s cover of “Grenade” was the perfect track to start off the compilation. They took a smooth pop song sung by one of the most soulful crooner’s of this generation and effortlessly turned it into an edgy punk rock song. “Call Me Maybe” is one of the most recognizable tracks of this year. But when you throw in screaming, I think it sounds even better and Upon This Dawning did just that. I was extremely excited to hear that We Came As Romans chose to cover “Glad You Came” from The Wanted. They did a fantastic job and it’s definitely one of the stand-out tracks on this compilation. Another favorite was Breathe Carolina’s cover of “Billie Jean”. They kept the originality of the song, but still added the Breathe Carolina touch to it. Issues surprised me with their rockin’ rendition of “Boyfriend”. The screaming wasn’t overdone, but rather they fit it in perfectly in their arrangement. That’s the extent of my praises for the tracks on Volume 5.
“We Found Love” covered by Forever the Sickest Kids and “Somebody That You Used To Know” covered by Mayday Parade were decent efforts. I am a fan of both bands, but I didn’t feel that extra something that the other covers I mentioned were able to produce. The remaining tracks didn’t even register on my radar. The “Paradise” cover was a bit of a letdown for me as I was expecting a helluva lot more.
Overall, Punk Goes Pop: Volume 5 if full of great covers originally done by a variety of the best pop artists of 2012 and covered by some of the best punk bands out there right now. Punk Goes Pop is a staple in the compilation sector and Volume 5 has enough strong tracks to make it a necessary addition.