April 3, 2012

Who Did It Better?: "Somebody That I Used to Know"

Anybody up for a fashion post inspired by this? ;-)

You've all seen features called "Who Wore It Better?" in magazines such as InStyle. The basic idea involves pitting petty celebrities against each other by urging readers to vote on who looked better in the ridiculously overpriced designer garment that multiple stars and starlets were somehow able to afford.

Well, in an attempt to make this tradition less of a cat-fight and more of a genuine assessment of talent, I now introduce "Who Did It Better?" Once a month, Nine to Phive will host a poll that will let you choose between three artists (musicians, actors, fashionistas, you name it) who have tackled the same creative project.

Whose personal flair works best for you? Well, let me know!

This month, we're focusing on the medium of music with the song "Somebody That I Used to Know" originally by new wave artist Gotye. The original song as well as two inspirational (and quite famous) covers will be included in this poll.

Gotye feat. Kimbra

No contest, this art-tastic music video definitely ranks among some of the best of the decade, but this is a contest of musical skill. The unique audio touches with eerie echoes and a quirky marimba make this song a joy to listen to. Kimbra's brief but boisterous appearance is also an excellent addition to the number. Her big and soulful voice is such a striking contrast to the smooth and sorrowful falsetto of Gotye (pronounced GAHT-yuh). Of course, this version of the song both starts out and ends very slowly, lacking a lot of emotion that it attempts to make up for with Kimbra's appearence. Does it succeed?


The pure vocal energy of this a cappella group is chilling to say the least. All of the intriguing musical effects of the original song are recreated in this cover using just the power of the human voice. The harmonies are spot on, and watching how physically involved these performers get is truly inspiring. What do you think? Is this performance lacking something because it has none of the unique instrumental touches of the original? Or does it prove that a cappella is even more powerful than accompanied vocals?

Walk Off the Earth

They've appeared on Ellen and they even pop up frequently on the procrastination black hole of a blog I Waste So Much Time. Indie band Walk Off the Earth is no stranger to fame, but how does their acoustic cover compare to other two versions of the song you've already heard? Their verses have a more pensive and moody feel to them, while the chorus has a serious rockstar vibe. Do these styles work well together? Personally, I could listen to this blonde girl sing on her own for forever and a day. Oh, and did I mention that ALL FIVE OF THEM PLAY THE SAME GUITAR!?

So who will it be? Who has won over your heart and your ears? Look for the poll in the left-hand sidebar, and cast your vote! Voting will be open until the beginning of May when a new "Who Did It Better?" graces Nine to Phive.

Also going on this month, Nine to Phive's first ever giveaway!


  1. I love this song! The covers are really great too but I think the original is still my fav (:

  2. I honestly can't decide who I would vote for. And Katy, come back after today and vote for the original!

  3. The original by Goyte is the best :) Seriously, he's the only one who can actually sing the whole song. The other groups have to have two different guys- one singing the low part and one singing the high part. Goyte has the real vocal talent because he can sing it all :) AND, his voice is just perfect for the song. Nuff said.


Thanks for your thoughts!