Prince. Prolific, funky, creative genius. Of course I couldn’t find a listenable version of “When Doves Cry” on YouTube but I did find this link on something called “mojvideo”. It’s the original, it’s sexy, it’s classic. It’s Prince. That’s all you need to know
Singer-songwriter Ginuwine did a version that throws in all sorts of extraneous bits and bobs, maybe in an attempt to modernize it or something. It doesn’t work; it sounds cluttered and busy. It’s clearly not meant to cover up the genius work of Prince but it’s very distracting and makes it seem like these additions are on the same level as Prince’s work and it’s not. It’s like a kid got a fancy electronic toy and just decided to push some buttons and “make it his own”. No. It’s not yours. Give it back.
The Alex Clare cover seems rushed. You can hear some of the funkiness of the original underneath this reimagining, and in the spaces between the singing. I don’t think this one is particularly successful, though.
The Patti Smith version is definitely less “funky” and doesn’t display Prince’s inherent ingratiating sexual musicality but I still find this very attractive and interesting to listen to. Usually when I say “I don’t hate it” that means I find it kind of “meh” and if I never heard it again it wouldn’t bother me, but I want to hear the way Patti does this. And I’d put it on repeat for quite awhile. It’s a very striking rendition, which I think would only deepen upon further listening.
Can’t believe I’m saying this, but I like Barenaked Ladies doing this. It’s got great passion and wonderful guitar work. I also find just a little bit of sexiness in this. Who knew?
The Canadian group The Be Good Tanyas have an interesting take on this. They’re kind of folky and bluegrass, and I can actually hear a banjo. The song opens with a really hard beat, even harder than the original, and I wasn’t really sure where it was going with the vocals. It took a bit of getting used to, but by the middle of the song I started getting into it. Without a doubt, I would listen to this again, and enjoy doing so.