Dr. Dog – Heart it Races

Heart It Races
Year :
My Morning Jacket / The Flaming Lips / TV on the Radio

I have a pretty healthy love of weird. I like when someone (or something, for that matter) is who they are without worrying about the reaction. It’s a big part of why I can list a band like The Flaming Lips among my favorites. Some people find them too strange to enjoy, while others find the Lips weirdness to be polished in such a way that it becomes off-putting. There may be truth in both sides of this argument, but what keeps me coming back is the way The Flaming Lips never seem to react to any of it—they just keep doing whatever it is they want to do.

Given said love of all things weird, it’s somewhat ironic that I find the biggest strength of Dr. Dog’s cover of Heart It Races to be the way the band strips away the weirdness of the original. Architecture In Helsinki‚Äôs calypso-dub-gazing-kid song is certainly worth a listen, but the arrangement ends up burying what turns out to be a pretty well written pop song.

The Dr. Dog version starts out quietly, and with the single-strums and backing handclaps no one would blame you for expecting this to turn into another folk-rock also-ran. It makes for a pleasant surprise when everything kicks in and you realize there is enough fuzz, reverb, and syncopation to keep some of the funk of the original, while still allowing the song itself to really shine.

And shine it does. Heart It Races has the warmth of a seaside drive in July with the windows down. Just let someone else drive—all that foot-tapping on the gas can’t be good for your car.

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Matthew Belair (@14Belair42) grew up on the classic rock of his parents and the 90s alt-rock of his older sister before discovering other genres to love, all of which are cool, hip, and in no way embarrassing to admit publicly.

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