It's not Queen and David Bowie - it's Shawn Mendes and Teddy Geiger, and that's ok by me. I think they do a very nice, inoffensive job of making the song their own and paying tribute to the classic. I'm a die hard passionate Queen/Freddie Mercury fan, and though I'm not as into Bowie, I have a tremendous amount of respect for him and do enjoy his music. With that said, I'll always be a little hesitant (but intrigued) to hear how people approach covering these songs, even artists that I am a fan of. I love Shawn and Teddy, which did mean I went in with positive expectations, but I always remain neutral when reacting to things. There have been plenty of times artists I love have disappointed or underwhelmed me. This was a very, VERY tall order so the chances of that happening were present, but I enjoyed this cover a lot and I commend Shawn and Teddy for taking it on, knowing how big a song it is and the inevitable mix of opinions they'd receieve.
Speaking of that mix of opinions, that's why I was motivated to write this review. First let me say that I understand the protective vibe that Queen/Bowie/original artist fans have (I have it as well, trust me). I also understand that this isn't everyone's cup of tea; not everyone is a fan of Shawn Mendes or Teddy. However, some of the comments and backlash for this cover that I've seen have bordered on inappropriate and shockingly and appaulingly aggressive, and that's simply not ok.
I respect and accept that others may not like this cover, and that is reasonable and to be expected. But it makes me sad to know that a simple cover of a song could send someone to such a dark place to post some of the things I've read. There are so many more offensive things in the world than a cover song, just to offer a reminder of perspective.
Also, I feel it's important to mention the lyrics of this song. Those last pleading lines, "why can't we give love one more chance?". It's all about love people. That's what music and art and creativity is all about. It's meant to bring people together and inspire. I'm sure new artists like Shawn and Teddy are inspired by artists like Queen and Bowie. That's amazing, I love that. This cover may bring in a whole new group of Queen/Bowie fans, and that's amazing and I love that. This cover might draw in new people who can appreciate it's message, because, it's still so relevant now more than ever. And that's amazing and I love it. There are far more positives and things to look at with love when it comes to this cover than negative, but you have to be open to seeing them. And even if you don't, there's no need to add more fuel to the reactionary, angry world we live in. If you disagree, disagree with love. Disagree with respect. Disagree with maturity. That's my personal plea to the world, especially the one online.
In conclusion to this essay of a review - I love all the artists involved with this song, old and new. I respect all of them for different reasons. I appreciate what they all have to offer in their unique, individual ways. This cover IN NO WAY ruins or replaces the original. The original still exists in all of it's glory, and always will. This cover is simply, different. That's all. As far as the negativity, i'm going to do like Freddie and with a cheeky smile and twinkle of the eye, just laugh it off. After all, it's just a song, darling.