Mononymous Norwegian singer Annie has released her take on The Jesus & Mary Chain’s signature song, ‘Just Like Honey’.
The original, an unimpeachable tenet for alternative rock and 1980s British music as a whole, gets a slick and propulsive makeover with Annie, who excises the legendary ‘Be My Baby’ for a robotic reproduction. Retaining the spacey openness and thematic tambourine-led whack of the 1985 version, Annie’s cover replaces tense atmosphere with euphoric release and celebration. The Jesus & Mary Chain, but if they were on the more New Wave end of ’80s alt-rock.
Hilariously, the song’s accompanying EP will take another swing at the ’80s with a cover of Patrick Swayze track ‘She’s Like the Wind’. A number three hit in America during Swayze’s peak Dirty Dancing era, the original version of ‘She’s Like the Wind’ has aged about as well as both Bruce Willis’ ‘Respect Yourself’ and Eddie Murphy’s ‘Party All the Time’ have combined. If you were famous in the ’80s, you had carte blanche to recreate whatever shitty musical trend was prevalent at the time, whether it was ’60s throwbacks or Rick James pop-funk.
Swayze decided to go with Lionel Richie-adjacent adult contemporary, which was a terribly misguided direction to take. ‘She’s Like the Wind’ contains ridiculous shaker percussion, outsized gated drums, hackneyed lyric writing, and even a cheesy-as-hell sax arrangement that dates it to a very specific time and place. Maybe those with fond memories of the time, or those who enjoy this ’80s schlock ironically, will defend the song, but stomaching it today is a hefty proposition.
Annie released her third album, Dark Hearts, in October of last year. Despite the decade long gap between releases, Annie proves on the album that her perfectly crafted synth-pop can live on beyond the days of blog-rock. Now that she seems back to regularly releasing music, she and MARINA can herald the return of unabashed synth-pop.
Check out the audio for ‘Just Like Honey’ down below.