Jai Paul – Crush

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A good cover can be hard to pull off, always tight-roping the smarmy/douchebag border. Rap songs into acoustic guitar. Backstreet Boys song → acoustic guitar. Most of them follow this pattern. There are a lot of covers out there, but type in ukelele cover in Youtube and prepare to take a hand full of SSRIs. Jai Paul avoids the tongue-in-cheek, self-aware, wink wink nod nod, and instead takes the 90’s track “Crush”–by one hit wonder, Jennifer Paige — and makes this version as much his, as her’s (or whatever fat white guy wrote it for her).

Paul’s hush tone voice is pushed back and forth, overlapping with the distended bassline, then being smothered under it like a pillow over an inmate’s face. Paige makes “Crush” sound flirty, with her enunciated presence clear and upfront, whereas Paul has salt on his tongue, fighting to be picked out from all the percussive layers. Paul’s trick is not switching genre, slowing the tempo, turning it into a dance track, but instead adding and adding until the song is a gorged monster, lying docile enough to see, slipped into an idle food coma.