In general, I am always a bit wary of covers because they draw comparison by nature. When the cover is of Chvrches, one of my favorite synth bands, I timidly press the play button like a schoolgirl hesitant to raise her hand in class at the risk of being called a know-it-all. A Chvrches cover is ambitious—the synth equivalent of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
Before jumping into PRXZM’s skillful cover of “Heaven/Hell”, I backtracked and listened to the original version. “Heaven/Hell” debuted as the 9th track on Chvrches’ album Deliverance, released earlier this year. While not a standout track, it was a solid number with Lauren Mayberry’s confident voice towering over a steady beat and strong cords, perfect a long road trip.
Could PRXZM do better?
Immediately, their version opens with a more upbeat, energetic vibe. The notes are faster, more immediate, creating a strong sense of urgency, like this may indeed be a situation between heaven and hell. The higher, more soprano vocals takes the questioning lyrics to a new, more emotional level before the song divulges into a chaotic dance sequence. This is the only section where it might move too fast and lack the sophisticated fade-out of the original.
But that’s the thing. PRXZM didn’t just improve the Chvrches song. It reinvented the song with a new sound, distinctly their own. And I never thought I’d say this, but I reckon this beats out the original.
PRXZM’s “Heaven/Hell” is available now on all major streaming platforms—don’t miss this one!