As an American expat, I really like this song, American Boy, by Estelle (feat. Kanye West)–it makes me feel sexy just for being American. On top of that, I like the original because it’s got a catchy beat, melody, and bass line.
The covers today very much reinterpret the original song–again, they cast it in an acoustic, string-heavy composition, which is a big change from the original electronically produced song.
I searched for a lot of covers of this song, and I like this first one the most. It’s from a youtuber called jmiclovesyou. What I like most about this song is that they include Kanye’s rapping in the cover, because most of the youtube covers kind of gloss over that part. Secondly, I really like that there are multiple parts: two strings, multiple singers, tambourine, etc. Not to mention that one of the strings is a ukulele! Even though they aren’t exactly 100% accurate on all the lyrics and parts, this one wins major creativity points in my book. Watch here, then check out the youtube page:
I think the next video, by youtube artist MJBBOY, flows more smoothly and shows technical skill, but unfortunately he skips out on the rapping. This is not a huge problem for me, as I enjoy listening to the melody and the way that he casts the chord progression on his guitar. He also covers one of my favorite songs by The Decemberists, “Eli the Barrow Boy,” so I think it’s worth checking out his page. Here’s the vid:
Be sure to check out these guys on youtube.
And, here’s Estelle’s original: Estelle feat. Kanye West on YouTube (warning: you may have to confirm your birth date in some jurisdictions)