Rock and roll, the Chairman of the Board once famously said, just may be “the most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expression it has been my misfortune to hear.” But to gander a listen of His Way, Our Way — a new, iTunes-exclusive release featuring covers of 13 Ol’ Blue Eyes classics by such modern indie darlings as Meiko, The Kooks, The Kills and Seether — a more apt string of adjectives might be brooding, unadorned, downbeat and very steeped in folk-pop moodiness.
Whether doing swinging Sinatra singles like “I’ve Got You Under my Skin” (covered by Seether) and “Fly Me to the Moon” (handled by Joshua Radin) or sticking to his more somber recordings (“Stormy Weather” by The Kooks, The Morning Benders doing “Strangers in the Night”), most of these niftily-reimagined if not entirely necessary numbers vie for a slow tempos, heartbroken vocals and stripped-down musicality.
A great example: The Kills’ acoustic rendering of “Willow Weep for Me“, one of the few tracks available for listening in its entirety online.
An anomaly: Maroon 5 covering “The Way You Look Tonight,” which adheres to an old-fashioned, big-band style. Happily, though, Adam Levine’s honey-dipped vocals do service to the Sinatra canon.