Last week, my Funky Friday song was a throwback to go-go music’s early days. This week, we’re moving go-go a bit closer to the present.
A few years back, the DC band Black Alley recorded an album of covers done in their style, called Recycle Bin, Vol. 1. Not all of the songs were done in a go-go fashion; one of the ones that did come out that way was their cover of Fun.’s “We Are Young.” A post highlighting that version can be found here. This time around, the band takes a crack at Rihanna’s hit song “Diamonds.”
Whatever you might think of Rihanna, you have to admit that the girl has plenty of hits. Whether that’s because of her good looks, or you think her singing is great, or the production of said hits is off the chain, you can’t argue with the results. Personally, my go-to line with Rihanna is “my eyes love what my ears despise.” But your mileage, as I often say, may vary. This particular tune has been given some juice from Black Alley’s familiarity with go-go, though the group isn’t necessarily a go-go band like Trouble Funk, Rare Essence or BackYard Band.
The bottom line when taking on someone else’s song and turning into something like a go-go tune is whether or not it cranks. I’m here to tell you, this one cranks.
No, I mean this one CRANKS.
Right from the jump, Ms. Kacey Williams and her crew of soul garage bad boys put in the work and don’t let up for a good six minutes. The guitar is a bit more pronounced, and has more of a rock type of feel than your typical go-go record, where the guitar sounds more like it would in a rhythm and blues or funk type of style. But the percussion is right on point, the bass line just grooves and Ms. Williams vocals are golden. Soul Garage is the term the group uses for their sound. Incidentally, they have a new single out entitled “Insanity,” which has a bit more of a rock edge than any type of go-go influence.
I hope you like Black Alley’s take on Rihanna’s hit. As always, thanks for listening and reading, and I hope you have a great Friday!