Over the weekend, Postmodern Jukebox jazzed up (literally) Sam Smith’s breakthrough single “Stay With Me.” Now Smith has done something similar with an elegant cover of Tracy Chapman’s 1988 hit, “Fast Car,” for BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge. As in his previous cover of Whitney Houston’s “How Will I Know,” Smith offers an emotional vocal performance over the easy-listening instrumental treatment, doing justice to Chapman’s poignant reflection on tiptoeing the poverty line. His delivery of the line, “I had a feeling I could be someone” is particularly good.
Though the song’s been covered dozens of times over the last quarter century, I’d like to think this one would especially make Chapman proud.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Ebola Story
How our minds build narratives out of disaster.
The Budget Disaster That Completely Sabotaged the WHO’s Response to Ebola
PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer
The Shooting Tragedies That Forged Canada’s Gun Politics
A Highly Unscientific Ranking of Crazy-Old German Beers
Welcome to 13th Grade!
Some high schools are offering a fifth year. That’s a great idea.
The Actual World
“Mount Thoreau” and the naming of things in the wilderness.