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Take Cover: Katy Perry’s ‘Wide Awake’

Rolling Stone’s Jenny Eliscu grades the YouTube stars covering today’s hot songs

Katy Perry, Wide Awake, youtube, covers

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Rolling Stone's Jenny Eliscu grades the YouTube stars covering today's hot songs

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DJ Monopoli and Sabrini Abu-Obeid

YouTube Channel: TeraBrite

DJ Monopoli and Sabrini Abu-Obeid from Melbourne, Fla. have built a considerable YouTube following by applying their Paramore vibes – heavy music with female vocals – to "Wide Awake" with only marginal success. Their brash, intense rendition of the song has considerably more energy than other YouTube versions of Perry's tune, and they have clearly figured out a workable formula for their covers, in general. But amping up the guitar and vocals makes the rest of the track sound chintzy, and the correction on Obeid's vocals helps during the verses, but she just can't seem to nail "falling from cloud nine" during the chorus. They also need to chill with the extreme close-ups, especially Monopoli, who tends to make goofy faces straight to camera.

Presentation: B

Performance: B-

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Tim Whybrow

YouTube Channel: TwistedTim01

Not sure how this particular sensitive singer-songwriter dude amassed more than 19 million views for his YouTube clips, but why ask Whybrow? The video for his strummy version of "Wide Awake" looks more appealing than it sounds: Sitting on the lakeshore, surrounded by amber hues, Whybrow looks like a convincing troubador, but his husky voice – a little Billie Joe Armstrong, a little Chris Daughtry, a little Everlast – gets increasingly harder to listen to as the song proceeds.

Presentation: B+

Performance: C+

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