Feb 17th, 2009 // 14 Comments

Kanye West gave the cover of “Heartless” by the blandly ambitious Denver outfit The Fray his tacit endorsement by linking to it from his blog, but it is something of a mess, with lead vocalist Isaac Slade blaaating all over an instrumental accompaniment that seems to be beamed in from a different galaxy. For some reason, though, I suspect that were this track not labeled with The Fray’s name, the blogs would be all over it and the “seriousness” it adds to the song. [kanYe West: Blog]


  1. Anonymous

    I always feel like The Fray are unfairly dismissed by the “Blah-go-sphere” while other faceless, bland, white guy rock (The Shins, Peter Bjorn & John) gets a pass for no good reason. Am I the only one who feels this way?

  2. Maura Johnston

    @2ironic4u: Haha, that’s why a friend and I were wondering if we should relabel this track with some innocuous band name and send it around to the less credulous types out there…

  3. Anonymous

    @Maura Johnston: Not a bad idea.

  4. Anonymous

    This is hilarious…I live in Denver (where they’re from) and it’s amazing how much people hate on them–kinda crazy, these dudes have busted their a$$es for years and instead of going out after shows partying with groupies, they went home/to church to write more music…it goes back to the whole “Rock and Roll Lifestyle” bull$hit…nobody wants to give credit to anyone whose made it….

    Is it selling out? Or selling out every seat in the house?

    I actually caught these guys doing “Single Ladies” at a show here recently–I know it’s on youtube, and totally worth some work-internet-trolling.

  5. Maura Johnston

    @sambamalicious: but they’re just not good at all.

  6. Anonymous

    am I the only person who (a) really dislikes Kanye’s “Heartless” and (b) actually like this?

    Kanye’s track is just so bleh, so mediocre, and every time I hear it it just sounds like an unfinished demo to me. How did it end up on the album in its current form? It just…sucks.

    This version isn’t fantastic, but I actually like the instrumental/background vocal accompaniment. And I think his voice sounds alright too, surprisingly. (No comment on their other music.)

  7. Anonymous

    I’m not in love with this band, but there are bands I hate far more.

    This cover is pretty good not great. Sadly, that makes it better than most of their new album

  8. AL

    @sambamalicious: they write their mu$ic at church?

  9. Anonymous

    @Maura Johnston: Perhaps you mean more credulous, credulous being a synonym of gullible and naive.

  10. Maura Johnston

    @MhS: yes, i do. thank you!

  11. Anonymous

    @Maura Johnston: You’re welcome

  12. Anonymous

    Good Morning AL:

    Ha, yeah they’re church goers too…like, really devout, but not in the creepy-Palin way. Just a sense of faith that they’re proud of…but hey it seems to be working.

  13. musette

    I know it’s massively uncool, but I like this band.

    I love the covers they’ve performed on Live Lounge, which have a charming insouciance while respecting the often absurd source material.

  14. Chris Molanphy

    I confess to liking this too. If the Fray sounded like this more often I’d find them more interesting.

    I actually liked “Over My Head,” their first single — bland but a good melody. But I got off the bus on the Gray’s Anatomy song, which was like a third-rate smudgy Xerox of the first single yet somehow (thanks to TV exposure) became infinitely more popular.

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