I always wanted to talk about the covers of various songs. However, I want to try to do in a competition style: one version vs. another version. I don’t know if I am going to do this weekly or monthly yet. I have so much content that I have yet to publish. But, here is the first one!
So here is the very first “Battles of the Songs”: SHINee vs. Mohamed Ali
Mohamed Ali – “Hola” (2009)
First off is Mohamed Ali’s 2009 song “Hola” from his only album Keep It Simple. If you don’t know who Ali is, let me do a basic introduction. Mohamed Ali is a Danish singer who has Egyptian and Iraqi origins. He competed in Season 2 of the Danish version of The X Factor, coming in third place. After the competition, Ali went on to open for Beyonce’s tour when she came to Denmark and signed a contract with Sony Music. He released one album, Keep It Simple. Ali’s latest single was released in 2013, entitled “Unbreakable”. The song placed second in the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix, a competition to determine who can represent Denmark in the yearly Eurovision competition.
“Hola” seems like an innocent song, something akin to Justin Bieber’s early works. Ali’s talented vocals do shine through as they are very fluid and smooth throughout the song. However, his vocals do possess that innocent, young sense. This quality could be a turn off for older listeners who don’t prefer younger male vocals like Justin Bieber or Aaron Carter. You can tell that this song was catered more to a younger audience. But, I don’t mind it. I think his boyish vocals hold a great fluidity, has a great tone and brings youthfulness to the song.
SHINee – “Hello” (2010)
About a year later after “Hola” was released, SHINee released their own cover of the song. SHINee is a boy band from South Korea who has been releasing music since 2008. Currently, there are four members: Key, Onew, Taemin, and Minho. There was a fifth member, Jonghyun, but he committed suicide last year.
My brother and I are huge SHINee fans. I have been a fan since their release of the EP Sherlock in 2012. I am in love with Onew because of his boyish charm, deep voice, and the fact that he is so cute. So, excuse me why I fangirl, but I promise that I won’t be biased and pick based on my fangirl preferences.
But, moving onto Shinee’s “Hello,” this version contains a more professional sound. How the song is mixed is better than “Hola” as it features instrumentation with deeper bass. The instrumentation is more grounded than “Hola,” which is airier and bubblegum pop-like. Maybe this more grounded instrumentation reflexes on the vocal tone of each member, which is thicker than Ali’s.
If I have to choose between SHINee or Mohamed Ali, I would select SHINee’s “Hello” as it is more polished and more professional sounding. Even if you remove the talented vocals, the instrumentation for SHINee’s version is mixed very well and features a more grounded sound.
What Will It Be?
Now it is your turn to vote! Who will be the victor of the first-ever “Battle of the Songs”? Tell me in the comments below! Also, tell me why you choose a particular version! I can’t wait to hear what you guys think!