Unlike many unimaginative covers, Janelle Monáe cannot be accused of merely singing over a carbon copy of the original in her rendition of David Bowie’s masterpiece ‘Heroes’. The electronic groove that Monáe’s version sits atop is just so outrageously danceable that you almost expect James Murphy’s croon to burst in at any second. Layers upon layers of the The Electric Lady’s majestic tone fill out the track’s rich mix and the lyrical content of the track doesn’t sound a world away from the us vs. them mentality from Monáe’s studio albums either.

It’s an interesting take on the Dame’s classic but unfortunately fails to deliver on the raw emotion that Bowie’s original still brings to the table with every play. Perhaps it’s the fact that this cover came about as part of a Pepsi campaign or perhaps it’s the omission of Fripp’s laser-beam guitar from the original but one can’t help feeling that this cover is a tad underwhelming.

James Barlow

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