At this point, it’s pretty well-established that Hall & Oates were, and are, absolutely awesome. Sure, there was a time when people would act like they were too cool to admit that “Private Eyes,” “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)” and “Maneater” weren’t flawless pop songs, but now, we can all admit that Daryl Hall and John Oates made some of the most brilliant pop music of the late ’70s and early ’80s. With that in mind, this cover of “Maneater” by the Lower Dens is fascinating, and completely reinvents one of the more well-known songs in the duo’s repertoire.
While the original is basically a straightforward pop tune with an undeniably catchy chorus, this one is a bit more dark and mysterious. The mood fits perfectly as the destructive attitude of the title character is brought out perfectly here. Really, as enjoyable as the original song is, one could argue there’s a bit of a disconnect between the happy melody, and the fact that the song is actually about a woman who seduces rich men and takes all their money. This version corrects that, and puts a decidedly dark spin on an old standard.
The song was recorded as part of The Time Is Now, a charity album to benefit amfAR, The Foundation For AIDS Research. The album will be released on Oct. 7, and it will feature other takes on classic ’80s tunes, including a version of New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” recorded by Scarlett Johanson’s band Sugar For Sugar, and Aloe Blacc’s take on Michael Jackson’s immortal “Billie Jean.”