March 25th, 2011
This is a cover of the blues standard “It Hurts Me Too” which has been done by countless people but probably most famously by Elmore James. (I think Tampa Red’s version was the first to be recorded, however.) It’s by a duo of Swedish gals, Johanna and Klara Söderberg, that call themselves First Aid Kit and was produced by Jack White in Nashville.
I like the countrified music here but there’s just something wrong with it and I think it’s the singing. Both Klara and Johanna have good voices but they just sound too young to be singing it. They were something like 20 and 17 when the tune was recorded and I think that’s a big part of it. Or maybe it’s their Swedish accents. Hell, maybe it’s just me growing old but the song just sounds like something of a novelty as if it were recorded at a high school talent show.
I don’t think that being young, white, or Swedish automatically disqualifies you from doing a good blues cover but the singing here just sounds so boilerplate. It’s as if the Söderberg sisters were following a crib sheet. It’s too smooth, not gritty enough.