Accent Editor Kelsey Fowler rates YouTube covers of Lady Gaga’s hit single “Born This Way” from the inspirational to the inane.
With the vocal control and maturity of a much older performer, 10-year-old Maria Aragon has close to 20 million views on her YouTube cover of Gaga’s new single. Her tune is slowed down, adding more emotional authenticity to the song. Aragon also plays piano while she sings, demonstrating her acute musicality. The cover is inspirational, honest and fun. Even Lady Gaga herself took notice and invited Aragon to sing the song with her on stage in Toronto during her “Monster Ball” tour last week.
Playing all of his own instruments, including piano, guitar, bass and drums, Alex Goot produces a well-shot video for his cover of “Born This Way.” His song has a rock edge, with a sped up chorus and killer drumbeats. With more than one million views, his cover is certainly jam-worthy, and his video makes more sense than Gaga’s. But Goot’s voice is raspy, and much of the song has a whiny tone to it. However, he’s also one of the only performers who keeps the line, “No matter gay, straight or bi, lesbian, transgendered life,” in the bridge, an important line given the purpose of the song.
Cheesy facial expressions and clichéd notes spoil popular YouTube artist Tyler Ward’s cover. The video is fairly popular, with three million views, but Ward recently disabled the comments after receiving so much negative feedback. Alex, his female neighbor, out-sings and outshines him on nearly every note. The awkward ending, with a prolonged soft fade-out, adds nothing to the song. Ward is boring, and while he tries not to take himself too seriously, the song loses some of its powerful meaning with his basic guitar notes and flat singing. For a song that’s supposed to be all about acceptance, Ward certainly isn’t finding any from his fans with this cover.