As far as cover songs are concerned, both the listener and the critic are of one mind: the covering artist brings their own creative touch and perspective while retaining the aura of the original. The simplicity of this rule has, in certain instances, even led a cover version to become more popular than the original (such as Dionne Warwick's cover of 'That's What Friends Are For,' which surpassed Rod Stewart's original rendition). However, covering two decades-old classics is an entirely different challenge. Apart from bringing one's perspective, the covering artist must display a high level of creative intelligence while incorporating an unorthodox simplicity in crafting and amalgamating a medley of classic covers. Can it be done with precision and aplomb? Yes, as demonstrated by the pop duo Kalina & Kiana and their stellar rendition of 'I Want You To Want Me' by Cheap Trick and 'Can't Help Falling In Love' by Elvis Presley.
The choice of songs to cover is always a crucial factor, and half the battle is won right there. The selection of classics by the California-based sisters for this medley is highly interesting, considering the differing scales, tempos, genres, and aura that each represents. Yet, the meaningful amalgamation of these two songs evokes nostalgia and sentiments, skillfully applied to music theory with refreshingly fabulous results.
Presented within the realm of pop rock, in the key of C Major, the introductory electric guitars strike the perfect balance between peppiness and introspection, capturing the essence of the originals. The lyrical themes of each song are sensibly blended to emphasize unrequited love, further contributing to the medley's success. The coherent transition from one classic to the next leaves a pleasingly indelible mark on the listener's mind, as 'Wise Men Say...' follows 'Didn't I See You Crying...'. However, what propels the cover to the finish line is the stellar lead vocals. Kalina & Kiana effortlessly deliver the appropriate rendition, conveying their genuine admiration for the original renditions through their down-to-earth approach and meaningful delivery of the lyrics. The vocal rendition of 'Feelin' all alone without a friend, You know you feel like dyin'...' captures the immense heart of the cover medley. Thoughtful, peppy, and euphoric all at once, the vocals are rendered with spectacularly, thankfully avoiding unnecessary experimentation. The instrumentation follows suit, skillfully adapting 'Can't Help Falling In Love' to the common time meter, seamlessly following 'I Want You To Want Me'. The final chorus of 'Didn't I See You Crying' interwoven with the counterpoint 'Falling In Love' (which also serves as an outro) showcases the immense creative prowess and heartfelt expression of Kalina & Kiana.
Clocking in at four minutes, 'I Want You To Want Me / Can't Help Falling In Love' is a magnificent cover medley that will linger with the listener long after the song ends. One can imagine Elvis Presley and the Cheap Trick bandmates approvingly smiling upon witnessing their classics being amalgamated in such a joyfully introspective manner, particularly during the final chorus.
About Kalina & Kiana: Kalina & Kiana are a California-based pop duo known for their fresh ideas, relatable lyrics, nostalgic sibling harmonies, and resilience in the face of a broken music industry. The sisters, who embarked on their musical journey at ages 11 and 13, gained early recognition when their all-girl band was produced by John Stamos for a Disney pilot. Despite facing challenges and contractual obligations, Kalina & Kiana continued to perform extensively and write songs for Netflix and Disney. Now, free from constraints, they are focused on creating the best music of their lives. To experience 'I Want You To Want Me / Can't Help Falling In Love' and explore more of Kalina & Kiana's music, visit their official website.