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Bowie Cover of the Week: Malou performs “Life on Mars”

This clip is from the Belgian version of the singing competition show, The Voice (the show’s actual name is The Voice Belgique). As a result, while it was not created as a video per se, since it was made for television the video production quality is high as is the staging. More importantly, so too is the performance by Malou, about whom I can find next to no information. I gather this was a “blind audition,” which is one of the phases of the show. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the show’s title, the strongest aspect of Malou’s performance is her voice. At one point she gets the lyric wrong but recovers by turning the error into an opportunity to sustain a high note, which resulted in a round of applause from the audience.

“Life on Mars” is one of Bowie’s great, iconic songs. As evidenced by its appearance on a show like this, it has become a staple of the great global songbook. Its one of Bowie’s more frequently covered songs by professional singers, but it doesn’t turn up as frequently on my weekly search for new covers in part, I think because it is challenging to perform (or so I understand). Of all the songs I could have selected to close out my 2016 song-a-day tribute, I chose “Life on Mars” (click on the name to link to that post).

While I’m very comfortable with this being the cover of the week, it actually wasn’t a great week for Bowie covers, especially compared to last week, when I found several well made, new studio-recorded covers. I almost selected a clip of Iggy Pop performing “The Jean Genie” live, in no small part because the song may have been partially inspired by Iggy Pop. I enjoyed the performance, but the visual aspects of the clip were not nearly as well done as this, and though the Iggy video was posted within the last week, the performance was from 2019, so it wasn’t really in the spirit of what this series is supposed to be about.

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