I've also recently reviewed Primal Scream's new album, which has reminded me how awesome Screamadelica is. The last two weeks has unfolded with the internal soundtrack of "I was blind, and now I see! You made a believer out of me!"
I've also been listening, in contrast, to jazz pianist Jamie Cullum. In the past, I've always seen him as a wasted talent, a really talented player with a good voice, working in a dynamic and interesting genre, yet still singing songs barely better than Michael Bublé's. However, his cover of Rihanna's 'Don't Stop the Music' from 2009 is awesome, and stumbling across it recently made me have a rethink.
I went on a Cullum marathon afterwards, still unsure of my feelings towards him more generally; it kind of renewed my former opinions of him. He's a real talent, but he often chooses to cover old jazz standards in a fairly conventional way. Still, the above video impressed me, and it got me thinking about how good Rihanna's song-writers are.
Rihanna's been accepted into the sphere of bland, hyper-sexualised chart pop, presenting the world with ever-more ephemeral dancefloor-fillers and pained ballads. I actually quite like her voice, but I think the way it's autotuned and produced makes the final tracks hard to enjoy. I'm also a bit awkward about her stage persona, and the lyrics and attitudes that go with it on tracks like 'S&M'. But consistently, when I hear her tracks covered, I love them: I was even enthused by the cheesy, country version of 'Cheers (Drink to That)' by the cast of Smash!.
At the risk of alienating any music afficionados (read: snobs), Rihanna's music is growing on me, but only if it's performed by someone else. I have the same issue, perhaps more unusually, with the Smiths.