Turn off whatever you're listening to and prepare your ears for magic. A preview of Lorde's contribution to the Catching Fire soundtrack has hit the Internet. The talented teen sensation covered Tears For Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World." At first, I pushed up my glasses at the bridge of my nose and asked, "how good could this possibly be?! The original song is untouchable!" But then I listened to the clip. I listened to the clip eight times in a row. It is a fantastic, haunting addition to the highly-anticipated soundtrack. Lorde knows what's up.
The original song was a major hit in 1985, and it juxtaposes an upbeat tempo with heavy-ish lyrics. As Tears For Fears' Curt Smith explained way back when: "The concept is quite serious — it's about everybody wanting power, about warfare and the misery it causes." Uh, does that sound like the theme of any movie/book series we know? What a fitting choice without being too on the nose. And who better to cover it than cool kid Lorde?!
I think I love the song already. Can't wait to hear the whole thing. The tone of cover is scary. It, like the HG series, is flippin' intense. It doesn't have the same bob-your-head vibe that the '80s version does. Lorde put an interesting spin on the classic, and made it her own. And whoa, I just realized how much older the song is than Lorde. Now I feel like a dinosaur.
Is she a "sell out" because she contributed a track to a future blockbuster hit? Is she now a part of the "industry machine" or whatever? Eh, no. Lorde is already a fairly well-known artist, and I doubt this move will ruin her existing "cred." (What does that even mean?) Indie goddess Bat for Lashes did a duet with alt legend Beck on the Twilight Eclipse soundtrack, and that didn't drive away their fans. The music industry is a tough, competitive place. You gotta get your kicks where and when you can.
Honestly, I think it's a smart move on her part. I mean, come on. It's Catching Fire! Katniss Everdeen! Jennifer Lawrence! Plus, this track is a bit of a departure from her usual sound, and I mean that in a positive way. Her album Pure Heroine showcases her incredible indie-pop sensibilities, but this Tears For Fears cover shows off another facet of her musical identity. She has a flair for the dramatic (and no, I'm not referring to the Selena Gomez kerfuffle), and I'm all about a dramatic song. Crescendos are my kryptonite. And this song has a spooky crescendo. Yessss.
As an '80s/'90s kid, I couldn't help but blurt out: "WHAT DOES TEARS FOR FEARS THINK OF THE COVER?!" Well, Smith told MTV Hive:
I think it's absolutely amazing … But then I love her, I think she's brilliant.
Whew! I can dig this version without feeling disloyal to the original artists. Everybody wins!