Dethroning the cover kings

To honor the late Freddie Mercury, 5SOS’s “Killer Queen” cover strays from the band’s typical style but encompasses the vibe of the original Queen song


Image courtesy of Spotify

5SOS’ “Killer Queen” cover was released to promote the new movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”, coming out November 2nd. In addition, it honors the band joining the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a campaign working to fight AIDS.

Pratika Katiyar, Team Leader

I will drop anything I’m doing just to listen to a 5 Seconds of Summer song. Anything. 5SOS is the band that’s bound to blow your mind, and I’m not just saying that because I’m obsessed with them.

Their previous album, “Youngblood,” not only beat out Beyonce and Jay-Z’s impromptu album for the top spot on the Billboard 200 list, but also created a newer, deeper sound for the band. Overall, all three of their studio albums have consecutively reached number one on the Billboard 200 No. 1 albums list, setting a record for consistency.

So when “Killer Queen” came out today, I expected it to uphold the standards their previous three albums had set. After all, the song was released in honor of the new movie “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and to acknowledge 5SOS joining the global campaign for fighting AIDS. Both of the reasons for releasing the song tie back to the original version of “Killer Queen”, released in 1981 by the band Queen. The lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, died from a complication resulting from AIDS. “Bohemian Rhapsody” represents Mercury’s shattering of the music industry, and 5SOS promotes that through the song and through joining the AIDS campaign. Before listening to the 5SOS version, I first listened to the original song to get a feel for the lyrics and tone.

When I played the cover, I had to check my phone thrice to make sure I was listening to the right song.

I will agree that their rendition is analogous to the original, but I was disappointed that it lost the band’s personal touch. This is not their first time doing a cover; their performance of “What I Like About You”, originally by the Romantics, was impeccable, especially with the new energy they brought to the table. Nevertheless, the cover for “Killer Queen” lacked this same energy and felt impersonal to the personality of the band. Looking to their albums, the transformation from boy band-esque music to a more mature and dimensional sound is vibrant. Simply because the normal 5SOS vibe of a pop rock edge isn’t illuminated, “Killer Queen” is a song I won’t have on repeat.

And yet, as a loyal 5SOS fan, I’m already waiting to see what they do next.