Thursday, May 1, 2014


Good morning, friends! Today is May 1 and you know what that means...

Hold up, I have some new folks following this blog (Thank You A to Z) and THEY don't know what you're babbling about.

Oh, right. Twice a month (the 1st and 15th) a group of bloggers get together and bring to you Battle of the Bands. It is two bands singing THE SAME SONG and you vote on which one you like best. You also get to elaborate in the comments about thy whys and wherefores of your voting process. All in all, it is lots of fun. So, kick back and put on your ears. It's going down now!

As you might expect, yesterday rolled around (Z) and I had not thought at all about what song to use for this installation of Battle of the Bands.  It took at least an hour to decide on something from my List. As much as anything else, the song captures my mood. And different songs appeal to me at different times. So, let's get this train rolling (pun totally intended).

The song is Umbrella. I will let the other BOTB posters dig around for something Old, Borrowed, or Blue. I am bringing you New.

First up, the original recording by Rihanna:



When the sun shines, we'll shine together
Told you I'd be here forever
Said I'll always be a friend
Took an oath I'ma stick it out 'til the end
Now that it's raining more than ever
Know that we'll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella

Other battles can be found by clicking the following links, so be sure to visit them and cast your votes there!

Donna Hole

The rest of this post is up to you. Your vote counts!!! Just tell me in the comments which version you prefer and why. I will be back in almost one week (Wednesday, the 7th) to report the final tally (and cast my vote). Be sure to visit the other battles listed above. You can sound off and they will LIKE IT:)


  1. My guess is that this contest won't be the most popular with a lot of listeners, but you might be going in the right direction to gain the interest of the younger bloggers.

    I almost turned the Rhianna version off because I don't like that style of music. This was better than most hip hop recordings and did have some commendable parts. I liked that cymbal sound throughout though it was probably synthesized. Not thrilled about this version.

    I like Train's version much better. For one thing it didn't have that "thug" rap stuff and it was sung far more melodically. The instrumental background sounded more real and more interesting.

    It's kind of a weird song, but it might grow on me if I listened to it more. Odds are I won't be listening to it much more though.

    Interesting battle. I'll be curious to see how the voting goes on this. I've been wanting to use new stuff too, but I don't know any newer stuff. Good for you for stepping out there into that territory.

    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out

  2. I'm going with Train, out of these two. Not fond of either one, but I like the name of the second one.

  3. They're actually really close. I'll go with Train, as it's closer to rock.

  4. You know, Train did a good job with it. I'm going with Rihanna though, I like her version best (probably because I have a teen daughter in the house who loved it when it came out).

  5. I'm with Arlee. I didn't even get through the whole rappy song and switched to the version by Train, which was very nice. :-)

  6. OK, you got me with this one. And you know that I don't usually 'do' these. Maybe it's because you brought the 'new' for your battle today. (So does that mean I'm the 'younger crowd' Arlee refers to?!)
    I didn't even know Train did a version of this song. And I usually love all their stuff- ok, not as much as you, but hey.... And I really despise Rhianna as a weak woman who puts up with crap from loser men. All this being said, I think I have to go with Rhianna's version. She's a good singer even if she's a lousy example for females everywhere. Also, that song is kind of a northwest favorite for obvious reasons on the radio out this way. So it's really the familiarity of it all that's getting to me. I'll bet that over time the Train version would grow on me... I kind of wish they had put more of a Train feel into it, rather than just gone with a pretty straight cover.

  7. I vote for the Train version, though I would have liked it MUCH better if it didn't have that weird 'ella, ella' echo. That's kind of annoying and awkward, in my uneducated musical opinion. This was my first experience with your Battle of the Bands deal - FUN!

  8. I much preferred Train's version. I hadn't heard it until today, but I liked it better instantly.

  9. you did it! you made it to thru the challenge and you're still sane and posting more super stufff! z is a booger!
    and i love train!
    happy MAY!

  10. ROBIN ~
    I'm going to pretty much echo (yeah, pun intended) what both Arlee Bird and Dawn Malone wrote.

    I only made it to the two-minute mark of the first version and it was a real struggle to even make it THAT far. The second version was more like Rock and also more melodic, although I won't be running right out to snag a copy of it for myself.

    "There ain't no Drano for the braino", but I'm voting for TRAIN-O.
    (I'm not sure what that "Drano" remark really means. I just stole it from Archie Bunker, and I'm sure it must have meant something to him.)

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

  11. Not a fan of either version here. I DO like some of Train's stuff, but this one, not so much. I'm gonna give it to Train, because I really don't like Rihanna's version at all, I actually didn't listen to the whole thing - Sorry about that, I just couldn't make it. I guess I'm not your target ordinance on this one.

  12. Well, if I had to choose (where is Elvis when I need him?), I'd go for the second one. Why? Less boring. I just don't like his voice that much, but that's me.

  13. It's Train for me. Not that much of a rap fan, although Eminen pulls me in.

  14. Wow. If there's one thing I dislike more than the song "Umbrella," it's probably the song "Umbrella" by Train. I dutifully listened to it. Can I do a write-in?

    1. I really like this version. It was brand new to me. Had I known about it I would have pitted it against the Train version. Let the covers battle it out. Thanks!!!

  15. It's a shame about modern R&B music-they skip the melodic version of the song and simply record what used to be the "dance mix."

    This contest should be won by Rhianna, but because her version is so geared towards a dance club, it feels like there is no melody at all.

    While I do not love Train's arrangement-I think's it's a little more upbeat than the lyrics warrant, it is hands down more melodic and listenable (in my opinion, of course), and so, gets my vote.
    I need to convince Anita Baker to record a version-I'll bet she'd do a version where the arrangement suited the lyrical content.

    Chalk another one up for Train!


  16. Cut and paste Arlee and STM's comments here. If it was being done live in my living room, maybe Rhianna... but otherwise, give me Train in this one case.

  17. Neither really appealed to me but I guess I'll go with Train.

  18. I choose Train. Sorry for the late post. I listened to the first one and it took a day for the headache to subside.

  19. Wow. That's seriously a close one. I'm going to have to give it to Train. I felt myself wanting to sing along with them.

  20. This is kinda like being asked if I'd rather have my right hand smashed with a sledge hammer or my left. Okay, so not really THAT bad, but I'm not a huge fan of either version. I'm not familiar with the song, but the words are nice enough. If it were done more melodically, maybe...

    Okay, gotta vote. The second one. Definitely. It has a better sound to it, and the first one made my ears bleed. (Okay, so a slight exaggeration...)

  21. Hi human, Robin,

    Thank heavens that very strange alphabet challenge is almost over. The next eleven months will be all about reflection pawsts. Then, hey presto, it's April Fool's Day and you get to start all over again :)

    I couldn't bear listening to Rihanna's version. It was so overplayed in the UK, I felt like sticking her umbrella, moving on....I didn't like the other version either. What do I do? I guess I have to go with version number two.

    Have a nice weekend, human, Robin.

    Pawsitive wishes,

    Penny, the cordial host of The Alphabark Challenge, 2014! :)

  22. I don't know which version came first, but Train's version is infinitely less annoying than Rhianna's! I liked Rhianna's Umbrella the first 4,000 times I heard it, but, admittedly, it now seems extremely repetitive and it's a strange match for her voice. Hearing Train's version only made me realize all the more how much Rhianna's odd singing style gets on my nerves!

  23. Yes, I fully agree with every word of Stephanie's comment. Plus, I have subzero respect for Rhianna. Train, Train, Train.

    PS Have a nice weekend, Robin.

  24. I can't deal with listening to Rhianna, although I did give at least half of this a listen just to be fair about the vote.

    My vote is for Train, partly because I like them, and partly because I knew Pat Monahan before he was famous (he used to sing for a local band my hubby ran sound for). I have a sentimental spot for him and genuinely like his voice, though I'm sure he'd be hard-pressed to remember who I am these days.

  25. I prefer the Train version. Rhianna's voice is too bleat-y for me.

  26. I know this sounds strange...but I like rihanna's version...I like rihanna...she continues to improve..I think one day she can be great.

  27. Train by a landslide! Congrats on an outstanding A to Z! Sorry I missed so many while I was away.



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