After learning on Friday that a friend of mine is quitting his job without having another lined up, mostly because he turned 30 a few months ago and has been asking himself if this is where he really wants to be, I've been thinking about the Faith No More song Midlife Crisis. I absolutely love this song and was pleased to find a cover by another band I like - Disturbed.
Disturbed is no stranger to covers. They've done a decent version of Land of Confusion by Genesis, a surprisingly good version of the Tears for Fears classic Shout. I really didn't think that one would translate well to hard rock but boy was I wrong. All that considered, I was pleased at the quality of Midlife Crisis. I always thought the original was more of a pop song than a hard rock song, with some sampled and electronic sounds and an upbeat drum line. I may be in the minority on that since on more than one occasion I've had it cranked only to have someone walk by and express shock that would make you think I was listening to death metal.
Anyway, Disturbed removes all of the pop elements and makes it a full on head banging rock song. It works well, but still fails to match the original. David Draiman does a good job with the vocals but doesn't have the feeling or versatility of Mike Patton. It also drops the multi layered vocals of the original - the harmonies and canon aren't there. The drums are also less pronounced, which I see as a bit of a detraction. All in all though, a great cover that I will listen to repeatedly. Unlike a lot of covers which are made as close as possible to the original, Disturbed changed it enough to give it a different feel, to put their own trademark on it, but not so much that it sounds like a completely different song (like the horrific cover of Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal by some terrible punk band that I don't care to be reminded of).
For comparison/contrast, here is the original. Running neck and neck with Falling to Pieces as my favorite song by the band, I love it and even after all these years can't get enough of it.