All Songs Considered named it one of the best cover songs of 2010. I couldn’t agree more.
Beck, the man behind the remake, must have recognized 80′s hair band INXS’s “Never Tear Us Apart” as a diamond in the rough. Beneath the semi-tawdry lyrics and the original power-ballad leading to a blistering saxophone solo, Beck took an iconic gem – from a generation known for perms, jean jackets, and shoulder pads – and recruited Annie Clark, the porcelain-skinned beauty from St. Vincent, to sing vocals. As the song builds momentum from an orchestra provided by Liars and Os Mutantes, Clark’s fragile voice is shattered once and for all by Daniel Hart’s orgasmic violin solo.
Beck’s Record Club invites musicians to cover an album in one day (sans rehearsal and redos) and then release one song each week as a single. “Never Tear Us Apart” is a crescendo of strings, echoed guitar, and percussion married by Clark’s delicate yet sensual plea. And after the briefest intermission, Hart’s violin crests at the most pinnacle moment of the song, leaving you with chills as the song winds down.
This song embodies my idea of a cover song. And it delivers, no doubt.