Single Review: Taleen Kali - "#1 Crush"
The mid to late 1990’s was an interesting time for alternative rock music; the grunge era had swung the door wide open for punk, electronica, brit pop, and an entire movement of female fronted acts. Enter Garbage; the group fronted by Shirley Manson who scored major hits with “Only Happy When It Rains,” “Stupid Girl,” and “#1 Crush” – the latter which gave them their only #1 song and made them a major influence for Taleen Kali who has just released her cover version of it as her latest single. Kali, who is known for her time spent fronting TÜLIPS and more recently, her debut solo album Soul Songs, cites Garbage and Shakespeare as personal favorites making this song make even more sense for her to cover as it appeared in the film William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Although musically, she does offer some variances from the original version in that this has a slower more moody and darker feel to it, for the most part this song acts as a great tribute to one of alternative music’s top groups. Kali relies on a certain mystique in her voice, comparable in many ways to that of Manson’s, to deliver the yearning pain of the lyrics as she confesses toward the unrequited love she’s experiencing, “I will die for you,” “I will cry for you,” “I will burn for you,” “I will lie for you,” “I will kill for you,” etc. before pulling to the chorus where she declares, “and I will never be ignored.” There’s two ways that cover songs can be approached. In one scenario, the artist does everything to make the song new and call it their own. In the other scenario, the artist performing the cover simply does so as a thank you to the original artist. Taleen Kali falls more into the latter category with her version of “#1 Crush,” but in all the smart, little ways that still make sense, she twists this familiar hit song into something that also allows it to shine as uniquely her own without ever losing sight of the original.