Who doesn’t love a good cover song. Nay, a great one. I know I do. And sometimes, those cover songs are even better than the originals. While trying to pay homage, rarely, occasionally, another artist will cut through to the heart of a song with even more power and more emotion than its creator.
This is one of those times.
Charles Bradley’s new album “Changes” doesn’t hit until April, but his wowing Black Sabbath cover of the same name is out now. It’s a gut-wrenching ballad that Bradley has successfully adapted to fit his soul-soaked sound and R&B veneer. (Bradley has come a long way from his former days as a James Brown impersonator, that’s for sure!)
In the video, director Eric Feigenbaum beautifully captures the pain behind Bradley’s expressive eyes. When Bradley croons, “I feel unhappy, I feel so sad,” it scrapes down to the bone and hurts. To Black Sabbath’s credit, the song was a departure from their usual crunchy metal, stepping outside of their usual fare to depict the story of Bill Ward’s breakup with his first wife. The original track is undeniably strong and head-turning.
But Bradley’s version takes that extra leap. In the video, he is mano a mano with Feigenbaum and the camera; it’s a one on one showdown that makes you wonder just what Bradley’s connection is to this particular song. There’s definitely a story there and it’s one that runs deep. Throughout his version and its video, Bradley pulls out the song’s most vulnerable moments and capitalizes on them, emphasizing his strengths at just the right moments.
Move over, Adele. There’s a new heartbreaker in town.
From Charles Bradley’s upcoming album, Changes, out on April 1st, 2016!