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Softer and Slower Cover

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"The formula they use: they take a piano, a song you know well, slow it down, and get a woman with a lovely breathy voice to sing it."
Winifred Robinson, You and Yours, on music used for Christmas advertisements

A slower, quieter cover of a song. Musical directors can support a deeper, emotional moment in a work by using such an arrangement. It is common to take a famous song as source material. Predictably many movies play version of one of their songs during the end credits like this.

Sometimes used within a musical as a Dark Reprise of an earlier number.

A subtrope of The Cover Changes the Meaning. Compare Suspiciously Similar Song, In the Style of, The Elevator from Ipanema, Award-Bait Song. When used in advertising, see Moody Trailer Cover Song.


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  • Kyon from Haruhi Suzumiya gave the somewhat hyperkinetic end theme "Hare Hare Yukai" this treatment, making the ridiculously frantic original into something slow and melancholy. He also changed the lyrics to reflect his personality. That is to say, he complains about all the weird crap now happening. Actually, all of the last three character albums did this, but no one else sounded quite as emotionally distraught.
  • Love Hina: The Tanabata episode had the girls singing the opening theme as a ballad.
  • Love Live!: Yume no Tobira, one of the featured songs from the original series, is an upbeat rock song about friendship and hope sung by the idol group μ's, which wouldn't sound out-of-place in a Magical Girl Warrior series. It gets reprised in the sequel series Love Live! Sunshine!! as a slow piano cover by Riko Sakurachi, who in-universe is a fan of μ's. Given that the song ends with "It's the prologue of our youth," this version takes on a more nostalgic, reminiscent tone.
  • Shangri-La: The opening and first ending got their slow versions as insert songs.
  • Italian singer Giorgio Vanni, known for singing theme songs to animated shows (especially anime), included in his album - as well as in his concert where the cover was first heard - "Giorgio Vanni Project" this kind of cover of another song of his, "What'snote  my destiny Dragon Ball" (opening/ending song for Dragon Ball Z, as the earlier Dragon Ball anime had another theme song, still sung by him). The long time that's passed between the original, dance-y version of the song and the way more somber version of it made the cover a Tear Jerker to many fans. Yes, even among the show's intended demographic.


    Film - Animation 
  • Frozen (2013): May J, the singer of Let It Go's pop version in Japan, later released "Let It Go ~ありのままで~ (Heartful Version)", an R&B cover of the song.
  • The Lion King (1994) has its love song, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?". In the context of the movie, it's actually pretty upbeat despite the minor key. The version of the song that plays over the credits is your typical sparkly 1990's Disney Award-Bait Song.
  • The soundtrack for Persepolis does this with "The Eye Of The Tiger," as opposed to... the movie version.

    Film - Live Action 
  • Exceedingly common among genre film trailers in The New '10s, with examples such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Maleficent, and Suicide Squad (2016) springing to mind. It could be argued that The Social Network 's teaser was the kickoff point for this trend.
  • Team America: World Police: Wonderfully parodied where the theme song (America, Fuck Yeah!) is given precisely this treatment during a big dramatic scene. It doesn't quite work, which is entirely the point.
  • High School Musical
    • Case in point, "What I've Been Looking For", as performed by the Evanses in an uptempo arrangement (a change lamented by Kelsi) and then by Troy and Gabi as the slow ballad that was originally meant to sung.
    • The first film's "We're All in This Together", a cheerful "We Go Together"-esque song is replayed slowly in the third film in an attempt to make a sad, reminisent atmosphere. This version also qualifies as an Award-Bait Song.
  • Donnie Darko: the final credits are accompanied by Gary Jules' version of "Mad World," originally by Tears for Fears. Unlike the original upbeat and cheery new wave track, Jules's version is sombre and minimalist, featuring only his voice, a piano, and a cello.
  • Across the Universe (2007) features a slowed-down version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by The Beatles. The original song was a standard happy love song from a guy to a girl, while the cover was a depressing unrequited love song from a lesbian to a straight girl.
  • In Rocky Balboa, the iconic theme, "Eye of the Tiger" by Survivor, is given this treatment throughout the movie as both leitmotif and mood music.
  • A trailer for horror movie Flight 7500, about a supernatural attack on a plane, plays a slow cover of John Denver's Leaving On A Jet Plane. The entire time. At the beginning, the passengers are boarding with no indication that anything is wrong, but the music plays all the way through the end, while the passengers and staff are terrorized and killed.
  • Baz Luhrmann's William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet features an R&B gospel cover of Rozalla's 1991 dance hit "Everybody's Free (To Feel Good)", sung by Quindon Tarver.
  • Inverted in Pixel Perfect. "Notice Me" was originally written as a soft guitar ballad, but winds up covered in a much more upbeat way by the Zettabytes.
  • Inverted in That Thing You Do! as the title song was written to be a ballad, but forced up tempo by the drummer the first time they played it live. It worked.
  • The trailer for Ghost in the Shell (2017) has a softer version of Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence".
  • In Deadpool 2, when Wade reunites with Vanessa in the afterlife, an acoustic guitar cover of "Take on Me" by a-ha is heard. In the Super Duper Cut, an acoustic cover of the main theme "Ashes" is heard playing.
  • In Black Widow (2021), the opening credits sequence is set to Malia J's dark ballad cover version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana.
  • Near the end of The Muppets Take Manhattan, Kermit, with his memory restored, is asked if he remembers the opening number of Manhattan Melodies, and begins singing a slow, wistful version of "Right Where I Belong" (it speeds up as it goes, until it's at full tempo when they reach the stage and rest of the gang joins in). The funny part is that until now we've only heard a single line of the upbeat "original" version; they sing it when they're trying to sell the show, but keep getting interrupted. Movin' Right Along: A Muppet Movies Podcast calls it "a reprise of a song that doesn't exist".
  • Leading up to the climax in Promising Young Woman is a slow, spine-tingling strings ensemble cover of Toxic by Britney Spears.
  • In Shame Sissy sings an emotional, slowed down piano version of New York, New York by Liza Minnelli.

    Live Action TV 
  • Ally McBeal regularly features various famous songs redone by Vonda Shephard and performed on the show. Particularly notable was Bing Crosby's Swing On A Star, slowed down and emphasizing the "Pig" part of the song.
  • The series finale of The Big Bang Theory features an acoustic and slow cover of the show's theme song by the Barenaked Ladies.
  • John Henry and Savannah Weaver singing a bleak a capella version of "Donald Whaur's Yer Troosers" at the end of an episode of Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which fooled a couple of fans into thinking it was a genuine archaic folk song.
  • Scrubs
    • Ted singing a slow, acoustic version of "Hey Ya" at Janitor's wedding. Actually quite pretty.
    • They did the same thing to the Sesame Street theme song. It was horridly depressing, because of the context. (If you can't follow the link, an already sad and wistful cover is juxtaposed with a patient's death, JD reflecting on the lessons Sesame Street taught him, and evidence that the new interns haven't learned those lessons at all. Can you tell him how to get to Sesame Street?)
  • The Story of Tracy Beaker had a slower, more sombre piano rendition of the theme song, that would play over more poignant moments, mostly revolving around Tracy and her absent mother.
  • In Grey's Anatomy, Matthew proposes to April using The Proclaimers' "I'm Gonna Be (500 Miles)." In a later scene, Sleeping At Last's slower ballad version plays when Lauren and Arizona hook up.
  • Glee
    • Rachel and Shelby singing their beautiful and slow rendition of..."Poker Face". Nobody's sure what the meaning was changed to, though, and it's still considered an incredibly odd choice for a girl and her surrogate mother to sing together.
    • Finn sings a version of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" (which was the original arrangement, although Cyndi Lauper's upbeat pop version is more popular).
    • Kurt sang Across the Universe (2007)'s version of "I Want to Hold Your Hand."
    • Blaine sang a slowed down version of Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream" in the fourth season.
    • During the season five episode "The Quarterback," Puck's tribute is the slow, acoustic version of Springsteen's "No Surrender."
    • Glee also copied Jonathan Coulton's arrangement (described below, under "Music") of Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" without asking for permission or offering any compensation for its use. They even sang the name "Johnny C" instead of "Mix-A-Lot" in their version, just like Coulton did.
  • Happy Days: Joanie and Chachi go on a local American Bandstand-esque show, but the trend is now for folk music and J and C do classic 50s rock. What to do? Sing "Come Go With Me" v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y, using just a guitar rather than the full band.
  • Doctor Who: If you listen closely, "The Doctor's Theme" from Series 1-4 is a an extremely slow version of the first several phrases of the show's Opening Theme.
  • Jimmy Fallon and Bruce Springsteen performed a Neil Young-style cover of Willow Smith's "Whip My Hair".
  • Michelle Branch performed a softer and slower version of her song "Goodbye to You" for her guest appearance on the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Tabula Rasa" - a version that actually fits the emotion of the lyrics better than the poppier radio/album version.
    • In the first season finale "Prophecy Girl", after Buffy defeats the Master, a slow-tempo version of the show's main theme plays on the soundtrack.
  • In an episode of The Odd Couple, Felix writes a bouncy, upbeat song for Jaye P. Morgan, but she performs it in a slow, dramatic style instead.
  • Kamen Rider Double including acoustic renditions of four of it's five battle themes, three of which fit this trope, but special mention goes to the acoustic version of "Cyclone Effect", as it is played over Philip's death in episode 48.
  • The closing credits for Mystery Science Theater 3000 feature a slower tempo version of the main theme, called "The Love Theme from MST3K".
  • Underbelly Razor featured in its soundtrack covers of more familiar music from the latter part of the 20th century, adapted somewhat to fit the setting, or the atmosphere, rather than stereotypical 1920s speakeasy music. Promos for the series, however, featured an adaptation of Tainted Love with a female voice singing the lyrics, ranging from seductively breathy to daemonic scream, with accompanying music that sounds more like Marilyn Mansons' version.
  • The opening theme song of The Man in the High Castle is a slow, creepy rendition of Rogers & Hamerstien's Edelweiss.
  • Cobra Kai has Kari Kimmel’s slow and somber (though also quite instrumentally bombastic) cover of Bananarama’s "Cruel Summer", which plays at the very end of season 2. It functions as a dark echo of the original song’s use in The Karate Kid, to which Cobra Kai is a Distant Sequel.
  • Played for laughs on Atlanta, when Paper Boi is appalled while listening to a cover of his rap song by a girl singing it on acoustic guitar.
    Darius: It's an acoustic rap cover. White girls love that shit.
  • Starting with the Yuki-chan era, the Inai Inai Baa! song "Genki Genki!" was sung at a slower pace than the original version, which appeared in the Fuuka-chan era and used a much faster pace.
  • True Detective: One of the final scenes in the season 4 finale episode does this to The Beatles' "Twist and Shout" of all things.

  • Emm Gryner's album Girl Versions does this with a number of metal and alternative songs, including Def Leppard's "Pour Some Sugar On Me" and Blur's "Song 2." Woo hoo.
  • Alanis Morissette, as an April Fools' joke, released a video of "My Humps" under this treatment.
  • Minnie Driver (of all people) gave this treatment to Bruce Springsteen's muscular, anthemic "Hungry Heart" (of all songs) on her first album (yes, she's released more than one).
    • Springsteen himself stripped down "No Surrender," originally an upbeat anthem driven by horns and keyboards, into a much slower, acoustic version.
  • The slow version of the Gershwin brothers' song "I've Got a Crush on You" became the standard one. Ira Gershwin wrote that he came to prefer this, even though he and George originally wrote it as a fast song.
  • Ben Folds does a tongue-in-cheek cover of Dr. Dre's "Bitches Ain't Shit" as a melancholy piano ballad.
    • Similarly, Nina Gordon did a heartfelt cover of N.W.A's "Straight Out of Compton" with acoustic guitar.
    • Jenny Owen Youngs also did a fantastic acoustic cover of Nelly's "Hot in Herre".
  • Blue Öyster Cult's "Don't Fear The Reaper" tends to get this a lot, turning it from a catchy, lyrically dissonant song to something so very depressing.
  • bo en's "Pale Machine" has "Paler, still Paler", a melancholy self-cover where a sad and exhausted bo sings while accompanied by a piano.
  • Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" is kinda amusing in a bathroom humor sort of way, but Jonathan Coulton upped the comedy quotient by covering it as a mellow pop song In the Style of Michael Bolton.
  • Amanda Palmer (formerly of The Dresden Dolls) wrote a song ("Oasis") about a girl who is raped at a party and decides to get an abortion. The catch? It's an upbeat 60's-style ditty, and the girl is super excited because Oasis answered her fan letter and sent her a photograph ("It's autographed and everything!"). The networks did not like it. At all. The other catch? The song is based on her own experiences, because she considers humor a perfectly healthy way of dealing with trauma. Just as a statement, Amanda regularly plays about 30 seconds of a ridiculously moody, minor-key version of the song during concerts before switching back to the regular upbeat version.
  • Tori Amos does this with most of her covers, turning them into low-key, piano-driven ballads. Her earlier successes with this treatment include "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "Losing My Religion". Her cover album Strange Little Girls had some of these (i.e. "Enjoy the Silence", "Time", "I Don't Like Mondays", "Raining Blood" & "Real Men").
    • Her cover of "Raining Blood" actually creeped out Slayer.
    • She inverted this with her cover of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", which turns a mellow acoustic ballad into a howling noise-rock number that is one of the musically hardest tracks she's ever recorded.
  • Anna Ternheim's cover of Iggy Pop's "China Girl" from Lust for Life has some of these characteristics, as does her rendition of Fleetwood Mac's "Little Lies."
  • She & Him takes the Motown standard "You Really Got a Hold on Me," originally recorded by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, and boils it down essentially to an acoustic guitar and the voice of Zooey Deschanel.
  • Before the Scrubs episode gave it similar treatment, Obadiah Parker performed a slow, melancholy take of OutKast's "Hey Ya."
  • Calexico also has a very stripped down acoustic version of The Clash's "Guns of Brixton."
  • Another famous and awe-inspiring use of this trope was Johnny Cash's take on the Nine Inch Nails' "Hurt." While the original wasn't upbeat, it was definitely much louder and more aggressive than Cash's rendition.
  • Inverted by HIM's rousing cover of the very somber "Wicked Game" by Chris Isaak.
    • However, played straight by themselves, with the Baudelaire In Braille album, an album of Valo covering his own songs from Screamworks in acoustic, mellow slow versions.
  • This cover of "Tik Tok".
  • Rebecca Black's acoustic cover of Friday is effectively this. Also done (many would agree better) as a parody here.
  • Toad the Wet Sprocket did this to "Rock And Roll All Nite", of all songs, for an officially sanctioned KISS tribute album. Kiss fans had a pretty mixed opinion on this version, but Gene Simmons himself gave the band credit for their "balls-to-the-wall bravery" in drastically reinterpreting their Signature Song.
  • Alicia Keys - "Empire State of Mind Part II: Broken Down"
  • Lou Barlow's version of Ratt's "Round And Round", which converts a Hair Metal anthem into a pensive acoustic ballad.
  • Damone does this with their version of Iron Maiden's "Wasted Years". It sort of makes sense as an arrangement because lyrically the original is a bit on the melancholy side for sort of being a Rock-Star Song. Ryan Adams did much the same with his version of the song, recorded for Californication.
    • Speaking of Iron Maiden, Zwan recorded a slower and much creepier version of "The Number of the Beast".
  • Dynamite Hack's Superfast features two versions of the song "Anyway": The first is a speedy Pop Punk song. The second is a Hidden Track that combines this trope with The Cover Changes the Gender, since it's lead singer Mark Morris' sister Emily performing it as a piano ballad (while swapping all instances of "girl" in the lyrics with "boy"). Their folky version of N.W.A's "Boyz N' The Hood" may also fit here.
  • Many dance singles have ballad or "candlelight" remixes, such as "Cry (Unplugged)" by System F featuring Saskia Lie-Atjam, "Such is Life (Sunday afternoon rework)" by Rank 1 f/Shanokee, "Heaven (Candlelight Mix)" by DJ Sammy & Yanou f/DO, "Listen To Your Heart (Unplugged Edit)" by DHT, and "Let You Go (2005 rework)" by ATB.
    • And of course, more than a couple of those were covers; the Trope Maker in dance was probably the aforementioned Candlelight Mix of Heaven, previously by Bryan Adams. DHT's take on Listen To Your Heart actually reached the point where the stripped down version was more heavily promoted than the dance mix; either way, it was still more mellow than Roxette.
  • This is par for the course for much of Adrian Edmondson and the Bad Shepherds’ songbook, as they cover classic punk and new wave hits In the Style of Celtic folk. A prime example is their cover of "Up The Junction" by Squeeze, which turns the poppy, upbeat new wave number into a plaintive ballad — one that probably suits the lyrics better than the original arrangement. It’s also a waltz (the original is in 4/4).
  • Ayla/DJ Tandu (Ingo Kunzi) produced downtempo remakes of the classic tracks "Angelfalls" and "Velvet" for his 2011 comeback album Unreleased Secrets. Much earlier, there was "Atlantis (Atmosphere mix)" and "Angelfalls (Particular Beach mix)". Ditto for "Ayla 2010".
  • Many people don't realize that the version of "Mad World" heard in Donnie Darko (as performed by Gary Jules) and sung on American Idol is a slower and softer version of the original by Tears for Fears. The same goes for Lorde's slower, more industrial cover of the band's song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". In the 80's, even angst had a pop beat to it.
  • The second version of Eric Clapton's "Layla," changed from a passionate ode to his love for his best friend's wife to a somber reflection back on it.
  • While already a fairly slow song, Amorphis did a slower, mellower acoustic version of their song My Kantele
  • Gigi d'Agostino's solo ballad version of his hit "L'amour Toujours (I'll Fly with You)".
  • In 1976, Neil Sedaka released a slow ballad version of his 1962 hit "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do. It reached No. 8 on the charts, making him the first artist to reach the Top 10 with two different versions of the same song. The 1962 original is a typical breakup song of the era, with the protagonist reeling from a just-ended relationship; the 1976 hit version revisits the same breakup, and in essence is a reflection of the relationship years later.
  • Coil's version of "Tainted Love" is a slow funerary dirge, apparently from the perspective of a man dying of AIDS.
  • Slyder's Neo (RRDS Remix) is a mellow Balaeric-style trance track, in contrast with the driving epic trance style of the original, which was featured in Grand Theft Auto III on the Rise FM station.
  • The Fray did this to Kanye West's Heartless, giving it a much more depressing slant.
  • Lights' Acoustic EP includes unplugged versions of the singles "River", "February Air", and "Saviour", as well as a cover of Rancid's "Fall Back Down". The Listening also has a piano version of "Pretend", and the entirety of the Siberia album was given an acoustic rearrangement.
  • Jose Gonzalez did an acoustic cover of The Knife's "Heartbeats", which ended up outshining the original due to commercialization.
  • Xorcist's "Scorched Blood: Rising From the Ashes".
  • Copeland's rendition of The Police's "Every Breath You Take".
  • Boyce Avenue gave this treatment to, among others, Katy Perry's "Teenage Dream", making it much more romantic in tone and removing the Intercourse with You aspect of it. "Lets just talk all through the night, there's no need to rush." Works well.
    • Speaking of "Teenage Dream", Darren Criss in his concerts often performs a (different) slowed down version of the song that he arranged himself. The arrangement was given a wider exposure on Glee.
  • Moby's version of Bad Brains' "Sailin' On" turns a manic Hardcore Punk song into a contemplative ballad. It works because the original is basically in the "Over You" category of Breakup Songs
  • Pearl Jam's cover of "Last Kiss" by Wayne Cochran. The original version was upbeat, while Pearl Jam's version seems more appropriate, given the subject matter.
  • The Cruxshadows recorded an acoustic folk ballad version of "Winterborn", which is a major Tear Jerker, in contrast with the angsty but upbeat original.
  • Rage Against the Machine, of all bands, did a cover of Devo's "Beautiful World" on their album Renegades. Where the original song was ironically upbeat, the cover is antithetical to RATM's usual style, being slower and melodic, but simultaneously, angrier than the original.
  • Steve Earle's take on Townes Van Zandt's "Rake" is this.
  • Sunn O))) covered Metallica's "FWTBT" and Immortal's "Cursed Realms", and not surprisingly, both are nearly unrecognizable.
  • The Frozen Autumn covered Decoded Feedback's aggro EBM track "Bio Vital" as a softer and slower darkwave song. More recently, they remixed their own "Sidereal Solitude" as a neoclassical ballad.
  • Most covers of Yazoo's "Only You" are like this.
  • Phil Collins' cover of "A Groovy Kind of Love," from Buster. The original was an upbeat flower-child anthem from the '60s; the cover is contemplative and almost mournful in a way.
  • Cat Power first appeared on most radars with her cover of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", which didn't merely slow the song down to graveyard pace but left out the chorus and the iconic riff.
  • M. Ward's cover of David Bowie's "Let's Dance" ups the heartbreak factor.
  • Joey + Rory's cover of "Free Bird" cuts out most of the instrumental sections and puts the focus on the vocals.
  • Faux group The Folksmen of A Mighty Wind (the same guys who played Spinal Tap) did a folkish cover of "Start Me Up" for the movie soundtrack, which is hilarious.
  • Michael Bublé's cover of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You" slows the tempo from a bubbly pop song to a song of longing for a lover who's far away on Christmas.
  • Bette Midler has one of TLC's "Waterfalls" that emphasizes the lyrics more, while simultaneously changing the meaning from a Drugs Are Bad song into a simple song about a mother not wanting her son to grow up so fast.
  • Molly Ringwald has one that doubles as an Actor Allusion: a sultry jazz cover of Simple Minds' "Don't You (Forget About Me)".
  • Isaac Hayes's cover of "Walk On By" by Dionne Warwick is much more somber and slower than the original. The "softer" part is debatable, though, as the song has many climaxes and orchestral rises.
  • Canadian jazz singer Emilie-Claire Barlow fits the bill with most (but not all) of her cover tunes. Her cover of an older pop standard, "The Very Thought of You" (from her album with the same name), is six-and-a-half minutes, yet slow and smooth.
  • Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham usually plays a solo acoustic version of his lone solo hit, "Go Insane", likely because recreating the overdub-heavy original would be extremely difficult live.
  • Kiesza's cover of Haddaway's "What Is Love".
  • Owl City did this with a stripped-down version of his own song "Good Times," originally an upbeat summer party anthem, here sounding more like all of the party guests have crashed on the couch for the night.
  • Nick Cave's version of Pulp's "Disco 2000". Since it appeared as a B-side of Pulp's "Bad Cover Version", quite probably a deliberate parody of the trope.
  • Prom Queen have produced softer and slower covers of:
  • Reba McEntire famously covered the Everly Brothers' 1960 pop hit "Cathy's Clown," turning it from two yukksters joking about how a young man is the butt of Cathy's cruel treatment to a symathetic third-party observer who wants him for real.
  • George Strait did this with his own "I Just Can't Go On Dying Like This," turning it from a honky-tonk swing to a mournful ballad.
  • For their stint on Fox's Grease Live!, DNCE recorded a slow, doo-wop rendition of their Signature Song "Cake By The Ocean", which they played during the senior prom scene.
  • Most of Nicole Dollanganger's covers fall under this category.
  • The Deluxe Edition of Ayria's Paper Dolls includes stripped-down remixes of "Not Receiving", "Sticks and Stones", and "Barren".
  • The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku is almost always done at a fast-paced, confusing melody, regardless of who's singing it (contrary to the title, none of the lyrics specifically mention Miku's name, so the song can be covered by any Vocaloid if the need arises), but one cover by Gakupo is sung at a much slower pitch and sounds more like a bittersweet ballad. Considering the implied subject matter, this kind of makes it even sadder.
  • Adele's take on The Cure's "Lovesong".
  • Calum Scott did a slow rendition of Robyn's "Dancing On My Own" for his audition in Britain's Got Talent, which earned him the Golden Buzzer.
  • Former Bronski Beat frontman Jimmy Somerville reworked their formerly upbeat synthpop hit "Smalltown Boy" as a somber piano ballad in 2014.
  • Apoptygma Berzerk did a slower minimal synthpop remake of their 2002 futurepop single "Until the End of the World" (no relation to the U2 song) in 2016, and a particularly creepy slow remix of "Deep Red" in 2020.
  • The Confession Executive Committee ~Love Series~ song "Right Now I'm in Love -triangle story-" serves as the softer and slower cover to the original "Right Now, I'm in Love". Both songs are about the singer experiencing heartbreak, but the -triangle story- version makes it sadder, considering that the singer is watching his crush fall in love with another boy from afar. Most other Love Series songs doing a Perspective Flip don't change the tempo at all, making this particular instance notable.
  • The song by Evanescence, "Even in Death", was heavy metal hardness symbolizing hysteria over a death of a loved one in the demo album Origins. In the 2016 version, Amy Lee changes it into a somber Grief Song on a Lonely Piano Piece to make it more gentle and heartbreaking as well.
  • The Tiny's cover of "Pet Sematary" by The Ramones changes it from a silly Monster Mash pop song to a slow, sad song with a haunting violin chorus.
  • Camilla Bäckman, the female singer in Cirque du Soleil's VOLTA, did this with Beyoncé's "Halo" for a promotional video. A similar cover was used in Cirque's Crystal.
  • Sarah Menescal did this with Tears for Fears' "Shout" and No Doubt's "Don't Speak", among others.
  • Coldplay's mournful cover of "Fight For Your Right To Party" as a tribute to Beastie Boy MCA in the wake of his death.
  • Rita Coolidge's 1977 hit slow ballad "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" is this to Jackie Wilson's original pop song version of a decade earlier.
  • James Taylor's 1985 version of "Everyday" is an Easy Listening contemporary to Buddy Holly's 1957 more upbeat version.
  • Salt Ashes covered Madonna's '80s dance-pop hit "Into the Groove" as a Contemporary R&B ballad.
  • The Doubleclicks' version of "The Middle", originally by Jimmy Eat World, turns it from an uptempo emo/pop-punk song to a folk-pop ballad based around acoustic guitar and cello. This is intended to make the Pep-Talk Song lyrics seem more poignant.
  • Sally Shapiro's covers of Electric Youth's "The Best Thing", David Guetta's "Dangerous", and to a lesser extent the Pet Shop Boys' "Rent".
  • Lauryn Hill's cover of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons' "Can't Take My Eyes Off (of) You".
  • Jyoti Mishra, AKA White Town, recorded a "1917" version of his 1997 hit "Your Woman" for the song's 20th anniversary.
  • In The Hamilton Mixtape, "Dear Theodosia (Reprise)" is notably more somber than both the stage version of "Dear Theodosia" and the version performed by Regina Spektor earlier in the mixtape, which are sweet songs about dedicating yourself to a loved one. Not to say that the Reprise isn't just as sweet - Chance the Rapper reportedly specifically requested to do the song for the Mixtape, after seeing a performance of the show and being reminded of his relationship with his own daughter.
  • Caroline Costa's version of "Flashdance...What A Feeling".
  • When Dee Snider of Twisted Sister first wrote "We're Not Gonna Take It" in 1984, it was meant as a rowdy and fun rebellion song that railed against the likes of the PMRC and other focus groups out to censor Rock and Roll. In 2016, Snider did an emotional and stripped down rendition of the song for the Criss Angel Charity benefit, turning his Signature Song into a powerful anthem against cancer.
  • The Rain Within turned Duran Duran's "Hungry Like The Wolf" from a New Wave dance floor filler to a Dark Wave ballad. Likewise, his rendition of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time" turns it into a much bleaker Tear Jerker.
  • Many slow covers of Michael Jackson's "Beat It" have been recorded, such as those by Vintage Bossa Cafe and Cris Delanno.
  • Taylor Swift recorded a bluegrass rendition of Earth, Wind & Fire's disco hit "September".
  • Matt Mancid, Color Theory, and Faded Paper Figures collaborated on a chillwave cover of the Pet Shop Boys' "Rent".
  • Little Boots' live piano cover of Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill".
  • The Rolling Stones' rendition of Marianne Faithfull's "As Tears Go By" (although calling it a "cover" might be a stretch, since the song was written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards).
  • Frente!'s cover of New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle" trades all the synths and bombast to simply a girl singing over a guitar.
    • Interestingly, the vocals aren't softer and slower- the original is sung in a gentle tenor, while the cover version is in a squeaky falsetto.
  • Noah's cover of Chrisye's "Kala Cinta Menggoda" is a slow ballad as opposed to the original upbeat song.
  • 10,000 Maniacs' cover of Patti Smith's "Because The Night", from their MTV Unplugged session.
  • NINA and long-time collaborator LAU recorded a synthwave ballad version of Blondie's "Heart of Glass", released on the former's The Beginning EP.
  • Peter Gabriel's 2010 Cover Album Scratch My Back revolves around Gabriel performing a number of songs in a slower, more downbeat style, accompanied by piano and strings. This includes songs that were already downtempo in their original incarnations, such as "'Heroes'" by David Bowie and "Street Spirit (Fade Out)" by Radiohead.
  • German teen idol singer Loi covered The Weeknd's fast-paced synthpop hit "Blinding Lights" as a piano-backed soul ballad.
  • re-recorded their Signature Song "Butterfly" as a power ballad in 2017.
  • Oliviya Nicole's AC piano ballad take on Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For A Hero".
  • Indie group Melodika Bros' entire thing is covering songs, but in different styles. That includes covers like "Through the Water and Waves", a peaceful acoustic version of Dragonforce's "Through the Fire and Flames"; Tom Cochrane's "Life is a Highway" as a slow, contemplative ballad; or Aqua's "Barbie Girl" as a slow song that sounds like the singers reconsidering their party lifestyle. They also do inversions just as often, turning heavy or sad songs energetic, even bouncy.
  • While Deep Purple is not a band typically associated with soft or slow songs, their cover of "Help" is noticiably slowed down and more downbeat than the original by The Beatles, getting rid of all the Lyrical Dissonance (none other than John Lennon himself had expressed regret that they didn't do the original as a ballad).
  • An unexpected case was on the album A Partridge Family Christmas Card, where David Cassidy sang the "jolly, happy" "Frosty the Snowman" as a slow, almost bittersweet ballad.
  • Annie Lennox's hit 1995 version of "No More I Love Yous" not only Covered Up an obscure 1986 song by the UK duo The Lover Speaks (who had been discovered by her Eurythmics bandmate Dave Stewart and had opened for them on tour), it also counted for this, since the original is a solidly midtempo Post-Punk song, while Lennox slowed it down and gave more of a Dream Pop sheen.
  • For The BBC Radio 2 Piano Room in February 2024, Texas performed a slower version of "Halo", leaning on the strings of the BBC Concert Orchestra, rather than the guitars of the original, and with Sharleen Spiteri singing in a very measured way compared to her more usual "rock" performance.


  • Amaluna's soundtrack has two slow jazz renditions of "All Come Together" as hidden interludes, and in-show, "O Ma Ley" has a "falling in love" reprise when Romeo and Miranda meet, which is not included on the soundtrack album.
  • A recent Broadway revival of "Godspell" took the bouncy, hope-filled "Beautiful City" and made it a slow, acoustic song - which many fans believe gave the song more depth and resonance.

    Video Games 
  • Metal Gear:
  • Used tongue-in-cheek in Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, which has a Vonda Shepard version of Sweet Georgia Brown play after the defeat of Jordan.
  • Sonic Adventure: E-102 Gamma's Leitmotif is a moderately paced, militaristic techno tune with a piano melody in it. when Gamma is killed at the end of his story the leitmotif removes all but the piano melody, slows it down, and adds horns, making it into an extremely sad song.
    • Sonic and the Black Knight has acoustic versions of "It Doesn't Matter" and "Believe in Myself" from the Adventure games. The soundtrack also contains "Seven Rings in Hand ~ Fairytales in Trance", a slower, even melancholy version of the hard-rocking Secret Rings theme, now performed by Bentley Jones. The slower speed causes the lyrics to be sung more powerfully, which means they actually kinda make sense.
  • In Drakengard 2, the sinister song Growing Wings from the first game gains a much slower version and smooth version, which plays for the first time during the scene where Caim and Angelus both die together, and in which we hear for the first time in two games the thoughts of Caim :
    Angelus: Is it over, Caim?...
    Caim: It's over. We're together now.
  • The music played over the maps depicting Worlds 1 and S from Super Mario Galaxy 2 are actually slowed-down versions of the "Good Egg Galaxy" and "Gusty Garden Galaxy" levels from the first Super Mario Galaxy game. Also, the music played over the map depicting World 6 is a slowed-down version of the music played when you fight Bowser.
  • The main theme to Dungeon Siege, which is normally a fast-paced orchestra and piano piece, gets a slower, mostly piano version with soft strings accompaniment for the music that plays while inside the nearly-overrun Fort Kroth. Conversely, a higher energy version with extra brass and vocals plays during the Final Battle theme music.
  • DanceDanceRevolution Party Collection uses an unplugged version of "Remember You" for its staff roll.
  • Raiden III's credits Award-Bait Song, "Fairy", contains a softer reprise of the second half of "Lightning Strikes".
  • The Special Mode in the PSX version of RayCrisis ends with a slow Reprise Medley of the series' highlight songs.
  • One of the many, many bonus features in Christmas NiGHTS is a cover of the main game's end theme song Dreams Dreams done by a male R&B group as an acapella.
  • Fallout: New Vegas's credits music is a softer and slower version of the Fallout 3 theme.
  • Syphon Filter: Logan's Shadow has a version of the series' theme in this style.
  • Panel de Pon plays a music box version of Lip's theme, Windy's theme, or Elias's theme when the player receives a Game Over in Vs. mode.
  • Undertale has "But Nobody Came", an ominous and creepy theme used during the Genocide route. Speeding it up reveals that it is a slowed down version of Flowey's theme.
  • The Play Station port of Tekken 2 uses a slower, creepier arrangement of Kazuya's theme for his Devil form, unlike the arcade version, where both forms used the same arrangement. Likewise several of the PSX reaarrangements of the stage themes, as well as the mid-boss theme, are more relaxed than their arcade counterparts.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild remixes a lot of classic Zelda tunes into slower piano pieces to emphasize the massive and melancholy After the End setting; much like the ruins of Hyrule itself, the songs are so bare and skeletal that it can be somewhat difficult to recognize what they once were. For example, here is the Temple of Time theme as it sounded in Ocarina of Time, and here is how it sounds in Breath of the Wild.
  • In Ys IV: Mask of the Sun, and the Perfect Collection soundtrack album, the music "Crimson Wings" was the standard RPG rock style, but in Ys IV: The Dawn of Ys, it was rearranged into a slow muzak-style bossa nova tune. "Sanctuary of Thunderstorms (Valley of Quicksand)" was given similar treatment. Likewise, "Subterranean Canals" from Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter had a downtempo remix on that game's Perfect Collection album.
  • At the end of Klonoa 2: Lunatea's Veil, a softer version of the "Windmill Song" from the first game plays as Klonoa walks into the portal.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): The Vonda Shepard Treatment


Did I Mention Proposal

When proposing to Mal in Descendants 3, Ben does a slow jam version of a song he sang to her in the first movie.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

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Main / CallBack

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