4 out of 5 stars
Universal Love: Wedding Songs Reimagined is an EP produced by Drew Pearson that was released on April 5. An all-star lineup featuring Bob Dylan, St. Vincent, and Kesha—among others. The artists take traditional heterosexual love songs and change them into same-sex love anthems. Some covers stay true to the original song melody while others take a fresh spin on these classic love songs.
Bob Dylan starts off this album with a rendition of Neil Moret and Richard Whiting’s song, “She’s Funny That Way,” transformed into “He’s Funny That Way.” Dylan’s rendering kept the original composition of classic violins and muffled sounds that were similar to what would play at a 1920s speakeasy bar. Dylan’s raspy, slightly shaky voice makes this hetero song into one for any couple to enjoy.
Kesha concludes the album with Janis Joplin’s “I Need a Man to Love.” She keeps true to the original sound of the queen of rock ’n’ roll’s original version, filled with familiar wailings of electric guitars. Kesha’s come a long way from her autotune songs like “Tick-Tock,” and she is able to mimic Joplin’s soulful vocal style as opposed to relying on her producers. Kesha’s adopted vocal style compliments Joplin’s iconic lyrics echoing through the air, “I need a woman to love / I gotta find her / gotta have her like the air I breathe.”
Universal Love is a brilliant collaboration of various artists that came together to create an album, with the same lyrics but new pronouns. This album celebrates the LGBTQ+ community while turning classic songs into something that is relatable to a marginalized section of society.