Here’s an unlikely headline for you – tonight, Leona Lewis covered a Nine Inch Nails track about drug addiction during one of the year’s most high-profile television events, the X-Factor UK final. Now, the reality: “Hurt”, the title track from Leona’s just-released EP of the same name, is probably a cover of a cover – Leona taking on Johnny Cash‘s re-interpretation of the NIN track, released just months before the legendary singer passed away in 2003.
This latest X-Factor performance, which seems to have been very well received, is pretty much standard Leona fare – understated and restrained at first, building slowly to a big, rousing conclusion, stunning voice on full show. I’ll say one thing, it’s significantly better than the studio version of the track on her dreary EP. A three-track project, presumably aimed at tiding us over whilst forthcoming third album Glassheart is reshaped by anxious label staff, Hurt is slightly uninspiring stuff. She manages to take the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” (admittedly a massive guilty pleasure of mine) and make it significantly more boring; an admittedly impressive feat that’s painful in a way that you only feel when two things you love come together to produce something a bit terrible. Real magnolia music.
I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – someone at Sony ought to call me.