One of Us Cannot Be Wrong is an amazing Cohen song. Cohen is often covered. However, I have not seen much merit in much of any of the multitude of released Cohen covers I have heard throughout the years, until this summer, that is.
Sure, anyone may of course play a cover as an homages or just for fun. If it’s a great tune it might even be hard to resist playing it but in order for me as a listener to ever consider spending time with the cover version over the original the cover has to bring something new to the table. It has to feel like the artist, in this case Father John Misty has their own take on the tune but in the case of a tune with as great an original recording as this one that is not enough. The cover has to be respectful of that original at the same time as it brings something new to the mix.
That is exactly what Father John Misty has done. His take on One of Us Cannot Be Wrong adds extra theatricality and bombast but never in such a way that it obscures Father John Misty’s deep understanding of the nuance of the source material. Rarely does a cover excite me anyway near as much as this one does. That is why One of Us Cannot Be Wrong is our no. 1 tune of 2020.