Can this Aussie soul singer steer 'Little Red Corvette'?

James Chatburn

James Chatburn

The art of the cover song: Is it a carbon copy, a genre-twist, or a reinterpretation? Whichever category it falls into, it often sounds great on paper and doesn’t make the transition. So when we got word that Australian soul/electronic singer James Chatburn took a stab at “Little Red Corvette,” we were curious to see if the car would go off road and crash into a brick wall.

The Prince classic from 1983 remains a sacred jam in these parts, so “mucking around” with it, as Chatburn describes on his Soundcloud, is a dangerous lane to tread. Prince isn't exactly a fan of cover songs, either. 

What do you think? Does a little Minnesota purple seep into the Aussie interpretation? Does removing the pep with an ambient organ lose its soul and fun?

Chatburn strips the energy, but his timbre is on point; the big beat remains in the driving seat, and his voice relays a similar emotion as Prince, but it's not as fast-paced and rhythmic as the original.

Still, lyrics-wise, this song isn’t the joyride suggested by that 1980s drum machine. Chalk this one up as a successful modern interpretation, staying true while turning left at that fork in the road.