Cover Battle – “California Dreaming” September 6, 2013
The original recording of the hippy trippy “California Dreaming” is a great example of sixties pop with its feel-good, peace and love, flower child vibe, accentuated by the sweet sounding harmonies of The Mamas and Papas. However, in listening to the lyrics the song definitely is more wistful and dark than you might originally think.
I had never heard the Bobby Womack version of this until now. It sounds really good with Bobby’s funky soul beat and enhances the song a lot without taking anything away from the original.
I have to admit I was surprised when I heard that Dana Owens, or Queen Latifah, had come out with this album. Then I heard her take on “California Dreaming” and I had to grab this cd. It’s a winner all-around. The Queen has a beautiful voice that is made for all sorts of music. Sometimes we have a tendency to see people or artists as just one thing, when they’re just like us – multi-faceted humans with a variety of skills and experiences and talents that transcend the boxes we tend to put them in.
We’re so used to her tough, empowered rap that the gentle melodic side was a surprise, but it shouldn’t have been. She deftly handles a variety of modern and retro pop and standard songs.
After a couple of listens to The Beach Boys rendition I grew to like it a bit more than the first run through. The black and white video seems very somber and a little creepy, though. John Phillips shows up as a priest and it reminds of something from The Omen, then Michelle Phillips shows up in all white and it starts looking like Total Eclipse of the Heart. Weird.