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The Drums

"Do I Love You"

[Self-released; 2012]

By ; February 17, 2012 

Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOG

Growing up, I was always an enormous fan of The Ronettes. Call it an opinion heavily mediated by childhood nostalgia if you will, but I personally believe that their extensive collaboration with Phil Spector on the influential release, A Christmas Gift For You from Philles Records resulted in the greatest Christmas album of all time and solidified The Ronette’s place as some of the most wonderful vocalists of the 60s. To me, Veronica Bennett has one of the most darling, unique voices that I’ve ever heard. This does, however, make covering songs by The Ronettes incredibly difficult, as there’s such an iconic element to their music that can only really be captured by the time and environment that it was recorded in.

Nevertheless, The Drums have taken a rather good shot at it by covering “Do I Love You,” one of The Ronettes’ lesser-known romantic songs. The original was a somewhat upbeat loving gesture, given life by Spector’s inimitable production style and instrumental artistry. To an extent, The Drums succeed in capturing The Ronettes’ sound, replacing drums with hand-claps and mimicking the backing-vocals of the original with fervour. Having a male vocalist gives the track a different style but it works well enough for the purpose of the cover, save for the middle segment where Jonathan Pierce struggles to imitate Bennett’s notes. An interesting cover is one that can shake things up, and The Drums’ version of “Do I Love You” is certainly original enough, whilst at the same time offering a suitable homage to some of Spector’s fuzzy production style and The Ronette’s own vocal flourishes.

“Do I Love You” is a breath of fresh air on Valentine’s Day and gives many younger fans a chance to learn who The Ronettes were through a modern adaptation of one of their most heart-felt songs. The Drums fail to best the original – an impossible feat, to be sure – but their gutsy attempt to do so is commendable and shows the depth of influences that they clearly hold dear.

MP3: The Drums – “Do I Love You”


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