Gotye Trashes 'Glee' Cover of His Song (UPDATE: Or Did He?)
If it surprised you that breakout artist Gotye gave "Glee" permission to cover his single "Somebody That I Used to Know," then you might not be too surprised to find that Gotye didn't like the cover very much at all.
In an interview with the Herald Sun, the Aussie musician said that "Glee" made the song sound "dinky and wrong" when it was performed by Darren Criss and Matt Bomer as brothers Blaine and Cooper Anderson.
Gotye noted that the instrumentals were "faithful" to his original, but he took issue with the vocals: "The vocals were that pop 'Glee style,' ultra-dry, sounded pretty tuned." He went on to say that he didn't hear any "real sense" behind it, and that it sounded "like it's playing to you from a cardboard box."
Ouch. Talk about something that "feels so rough." It's tough to say if it is Criss and Bomer that Gotye takes issue with, or just the production, but it seems like it's leaning toward the latter. Sure enough, "Glee" does produce the vocals pretty heavily, which it likely doesn't need to do most of the time... certainly not with Criss or co-star Lea Michele, who have both spent time doing live theater on Broadway.
Before the episode aired, Criss expressed excitement over being able to perform the song:
I took some issue with this cover as well, but less because of the performance (though it does seem a bit too "clean") and more because of the change in meaning. There just wasn't enough of a conflict between Blaine and Cooper to warrant a song as emotionally wrought as this one.
My question is this: what did Gotye expect? Every "Glee" song is heavily produced, with a very clean pop style.
UPDATE: Gotye quickly responded, claiming he was misquoted a bit in the interview. He noted that he meant the xylophone is "dinky" both in his version and the cover, but noted that he prefers the use of "reverb and space" in his recordings. He also noted that he thought it was "clever" to change the performance to one between two brothers.
Check out the performance below: