Music: Why Bastille's cover of "No Scrubs" is the best cover song ever

Instead of throwing a clever cross-genre spin on the original or brutalizing it to be funny, Bastille's cover of "No Scrubs" replaces the criticism of the original with empathy. By creating a second storyline to go along with the original, a third story about judgement and perspective emerges from the interplay.

For this to work, Bastille makes the assumption that the listener knows and identifies with the original. In case you're unfamiliar, "No Scrubs" is a classic for good reason. Both catchy and meaningful, the lyrics identify who "scrubs" are and why the singer isn't interested. The song's chastisement motivates men not to be scrubs and women not to settle for them.

A scrub is a guy who thinks he's fly
And is also known as a buster
Always talkin' about what he wants
And just sits on his broke ass...

If you don't have a car and you're walking
Oh yes son I'm talking to you
If you live at home wit' your momma
Oh yes son I'm talking to you...

Oh no I don't want no.....
No scrub

What Bastille does with the song, just by adding some clips and a little emotion, is humanize "the scrub", making us wonder at the psychology that makes him act as he does. Is there is a way for him to change? The song doesn't defend scrubs or directly criticize TLC for steering clear (the sound clips are, after all, from the movie Psycho), but it places the listener in a more enlightened place by mimicking the complexities of real life. It's like the Ender's Game Series by Orson Scott Card in which different books tell the same exact story from the perspective of different characters.

I'd like to hear more cover songs like this. Maybe someone should do a cover of the Offspring's "Bad Habit" about a road-rage situation between Dexter Holland and someone's grandmother, or a cover of Kanye West's "I am a God" from the perspective of a busy french waiter having a rough day, trying to get croissants to the table.