I don’t care what anyone thinks, “Summertime” is a great song that gets the mood of the season just right (although The Zombies’ “Time of Season” is great, too). Gershwin’s track has been done time and time again, and it’s always been done with a certain amount of, well, sunshine.
Massive Attack have decided to take the song down some unfamiliar territory with some dark snyths and flutes going around the song. The atmosphere is quite creepy and it works well. But it’s not “Summertime”, there’s really nothing about what Massive Attack is doing that makes this a cover of Gershwin’s song. The only thing connecting the two are Scarlett Johansson’s vocals, which are put through some heavy effects to make her sound distant, and the end result is exactly that.
I know this is exactly what Massive Attack and Johansson were going for with their cover, but I’m not buying it. It’s too intentionally dark and brooding. And leaves me feeling more distant than compelled.
Rating: 3 out of 10.