Dulling The Magic of “Rolling in the Deep” One Cover at a Time

Late this past Thursday night, the tracks for next week’s Glee episode “Prom Queen” leaked onto the interwebz. Included in next week’s batch of tracks is Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep,” which is sung by Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff as a duet.

This Glee cover is the latest in a string of “Rolling in the Deep” covers that have hit the web, since the song was released last fall.  One of the issues I have with all the covers of this song is that most of them pale in comparison to the original.

As someone that loves music, I feel like “Rolling in the Deep” could possibly be on it’s way to being played out. The fact that Glee is has now covered it says a lot. And I’m not gonna front, I was excited at first to hear that Glee was taking on the song. I love Lea and Jonathan’s voices together, and I thought the result was going to be this intensely passionate, angsty vocal performance from the two of them. The Glee version actually sounds like a take of the John Legend cover of the song. To be honest, I was expecting more of a rock vibe from them, instead of a gospel vibe.

If you have listened to Adele’s 21, then you are aware of how damn near flawless this record is. To me, 21 is one of the most magical things to happen to music in such a long time. All of the things that Adele is talking about in her songs are sung with such passion and raw emotion that you can’t help, but be moved.

The first time I heard “Rolling in the Deep,” I felt like I had an instant emotional connection to the song. It was a song that could get me through the day, a song that made me feel stronger, and a song that brought out my inner sass.

One of the reasons I love music so much, is because when there’s a song that can tap into your emotions and make you feel alive, there’s nothing else like it.  And Adele has an entire album of music that is more than capable of achieving this.

I always figure that if you’re going to cover a song that you need to own it and make it believable as your own. That fire and passion from the original is never completely conveyed by other artists that have taken a swing at covering the song.

I have this crazy fear that people will start leaning towards the covers more so than the original song. And don’t get me wrong, there are a handful of covers I actually like and think are pretty good, but they still are not as good as the original song. The raw emotion that is laced throughout Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” to me cannot be duplicated. Sometimes it seems that singers are just covering the song just for the sake of covering it, and they’re essentially dulling the lyrics and the overall magic to the song.

But even worse, there comes a time when you never want to hear a song again, because the radio plays it twice an hour every hour, it’s being used in every commercial known to man (I’m looking at you Katy Perry’s “Firework”), or because everyone has decided that they want to take a crack at the song.

I don’t want “Rolling in the Deep” to be a song that causes me to cringe whenever I hear it on the radio. There are some songs that were released like ten years ago that still make me smile whenever I hear it on the radio.

For example, anytime “Hanging By a Moment” by Lifehouse comes on, all I want to do is sing-a-long. It’s a song like that for me, where I remember where I was the first time I heard it. That song to me is one of those magic, emotionally provoking songs, and my guess is that you probably have a song like that too.

As you can tell, this below-par Glee cover has pushed my buttons. I appreciate the covers of “Rolling in the Deep,” but I will always embrace Adele’s original.

I would like to know what you think. I’ve got a couple polls at the bottom of the post for you answer, but also leave me a comment with your thoughts, and if you think the covers are missing that magic of Adele’s original and are leading to a possible demise of the song.

Check out some covers of “Rolling in the Deep” that I’m partial to.

John Legend

Mike Posner

Sarah Sellers

David Cook

Tim Halperin


Published by

Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a Writer, Editor, and Arts & Entertainment Journalist from the SF Bay Area. When not listening to music or cheering on the San Jose Sharks, she's probably at the movies. Follow her on Twitter: @KirsCoachman

2 thoughts on “Dulling The Magic of “Rolling in the Deep” One Cover at a Time”

  1. My 11yo is dying to cover this song for a local ‘Idol’ talent show, and I’m trying so hard to tell her that it’s too overdone and although she really could rock it, it will just be another ‘Rolling’ cover and get lost in the crowd. Any suggestions for some thing similarly awesome yet less known?

    1. Being that it is a local ‘Idol’ talent show, one probably couldn’t go wrong with Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.” It’s catchy, the crowd will already know it and more than likely sing-a-long.

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