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Postmodern Jukebox Is Our Editor's Pick For Best K-Pop Cover Of 2013 For Their 1920s Swing Version Of Psy's 'Gentleman' [VIDEO]

By Jesse Lent | January 02, 2014 05:42 PM EST


Although by this point you've probably had your fill of best of 2013 lists, we would be remiss not to give one final major nod of recognition to the impressive collection of musicians known as Postmodern Jukebox, whose cover of Psy's "Gentleman" was an easy choice for the best K-pop cover of 2013.

Right from the beginning, the group's "Vintage 1920's Style" cover of "Gentleman" is a Prohibition-era party in a bottle.

Two girls in flapper fashion dance the Charleston, as drums, upright bass, clarinet and trombone provide the perfect hot jazz backdrop to bandleader Scott Bradlee's powerfully versatile piano playing.

It's a sound Psy could have never imagined.

Just as she always does, vocalist Robyn Adele Anderson shows a knack for treating all material with equal respect and offering a confident, earnest delivery that many singers with her kind of pipes reserve for only the finest classics of the American songbook.

Her vocals are powerful and full, beyond retro and more like classic. And although some Korean speakers may take issue with her liberal interpretation of Psy's lyrics, it is difficult not to be charmed by her ability to throw herself into the material with wild abandon.

As anyone familiar with the steady stream of period-specific covers of contemporary pop hits that Postmodern Jukebox has been releasing in 2013 knows, the group is a rare gem.

The musicians are solid and tasteful, the singing is brilliant and the performances, all recorded live and in one-take in a rehearsal room, have the ability to make you love a song you had previously dismissed.

Two personal favorites are the group's doo-wop version of Miley Cyrus's "We Can't Stop" and the tortured but beautiful vocals of cabaret singer and clown Puddles Pity Party on the "Sad Clown With The Golden Voice" version of Lorde's hit Royals.

Bradlee wrote in his mission statement on the Postmodern Jukebox website that his goal for the group "is to get my audience to think of songs not as rigid, ephemeral objects, but like malleable globs of silly putty."

"Songs can be twisted, shaped, and altered without losing their identities, just as we grow, age, and expire without losing ours," he added.

"It is through this exploration that the gap between 'high' and 'low' art can be bridged most readily."

On "Gentleman" and the rest of their impressive catalog of covers, there is no denying that this is what Postmodern Jukebox does.

Yet, the way the group broadens their listeners' horizons is more than just some intellectual exercise. They do it by connecting with your gut, your pulse and making you want to dance--maybe even to do the Charleston.

Check out Postmodern Jukebox's amazing "Gentleman" cover in 1920's "Great Gatsby" swing style RIGHT HERE

Tagged :  K-Pop, Postmodern Jukebox, Gentleman


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