Nestled between some awkward electro-dance covers of “Sweet Child Of Mine” and “Walk This Way” (with a passing take on KT Tunstall) lies one of the most subversive cover songs I’ve heard from any artist this year. I’m thinking it’s totally unintentional: the it-always-has-to-be-this-way-doesn’t-it, boy-producing-girl-singing duo Sweet Vacation sing Ne-Yo’s “Because Of You” in a manner completely devoid of irony or cheekiness. It’s two people giving a slightly more aggressive dance take on a track they really like. Unlike the other reworks on the page, “Because Of You” sounds good because that joint demands tip-top vocals, a task designated diva May doesn’t back away from.
Sweet Vacation’s version of “Because Of You” sounds great, but the real triumph comes via the cover’s norm-flipping point of view. Played completely straight, this is a sexed-up R&B jam coming from a female singer. This whole loverman jam sub-genre thrives on uber-masculinity, almost to the point of pure douchbag overload. Dudes outnumber gals by a wide margin here. Yet here, May takes the mic and belts out the line “only concern is when the next time I’m gonna get me some” without any hesitation. Coupled with the thumping club beat, this song overflows with a female voice on sexuality not nearly as prevalent in music as it should be. Even if it came about by chance, it’s still a refreshing listen.
Listen to Sweet Vacation’s cover of “Because Of You” here.