Bridgerton is back with less sex than before, but even more classical covers of (mainly) contemporary pop, rock and dance songs. Here’s our definitive ranking of the season two reimaginings, from Nirvana to Calvin Harris.
10. ‘Dancing On My Own’ (Robyn cover) – Vitamin String Quartet
A pretty straightforward classical take on an era-defining pop song. ‘Dancing On My Own’ has already been covered by everyone from Elle Fanning to Kelly Clarkson.
How does it compare to the original? It captures some of the original’s bittersweet emotion, but on this evidence, a string quartet can’t quite recreate Robyn‘s intricate vocal melodies. It’s also a slightly too obvious choice that lacks the wit of the best Bridgerton covers.
9. ‘Sign Of The Times – Stripped’ (Harry Styles cover) – Steve Horner
A suitably stately cover of Hazza’s slow-building debut single. Despite what the title says, it doesn’t sound any more or less “stripped” than anything else on this soundtrack album.
How does it compare to the original? Hmm. We’d rather they’d covered ‘Watermelon Sugar’, tbh.
8. ‘Diamonds’ (Rihanna cover) – Hannah V & Joe Rodwell
A sweeping remake of Rihanna‘s 2012 chart-topper, and a highlight from her ‘Unapologetic’ album that was written by Sia. In the show, ‘Diamonds’ is used in a scene where Queen Charlotte decides who will be named the “diamond” of the season. Hey, even Bridgerton superfans know the show is sometimes a bit on the nose.
How does it compare to the original? Sia’s bombastic melodies lend themselves well enough to the classical crossover treatment.
7. ‘Stay Away’ (Nirvana cover) – Vitamin String Quartet
A suitably dramatic, string-led take on a thrashing ‘Nevermind’ album track. It’s easy to imagine it playing over a tense moment in one of the show’s ball scenes.
How does it compare to the original? If Frances Bean Cobain is a Bridgerton fan, this inoffensive cover version won’t spoil her enjoyment.
6. ‘Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham’ (Jatin-Lalit and Lata Mangeshkar Cover) – Kris Bowers
A classy cover of the title song from Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham…, an enormously popular Bollywood movie. Bridgerton actress Charithra Chandran has said this version, led by Bridgerton‘s Grammy and Emmy-nominated composer Kris Bowers, “literally brought tears to my eyes because it’s a collision of both my worlds.”
How does it compare to the original? It’s nowhere near as dynamic, but works quite nicely as upmarket ear candy.
5. ‘Material Girl’ (Madonna cover) – Kris Bowers
A grand orchestral reimagining of the early Madge classic. Although there’s no vocal, this song is so familiar you’ll fill in the lyrics in your head.
How does it compare to the original? Let’s just say it is far better than the cringe cover of ‘Material Girl’ in Amazon Prime’s Cinderella movie. What were you thinking, Adele Dazeem?
4. ‘You Oughta Know’ (Alanis Morissette cover) – Duomo, Tomás Peire-Serrate
Led by composer Duomo, who covered Taylor Swift‘s ‘Wildest Dreams’ in season one, this is one of Bridgerton‘s more restrained remakes. Actually, you might not even recognise the song until the chorus kicks in.
How does it compare to the original? They deserve credit for doing something a little different with Alanis‘ rage-rock classic. It also deserves credit for making us wonder if a Bridgerton character could ever say the line: “Would she go down on you in a theatre ballroom?”
3. ‘What About Us’ (P!nk cover) – Duomo
A string-led cover of a relatively recent P!nk banger. You’ve probably heard the original at the hair salon, or anywhere else that plays Magic Radio.
How does it compare to the original? Duomo’s arrangement is a low-key cracker. It actually makes ‘What About Us’ sound more sophisticated.
2. ‘How Deep Is Your Love’ (Calvin Harris and Disciples cover) – Kiris Houston
Led by London-based writer-producer Kiris Houston, this cover of Calvin Harris‘ 2015 house banger is surprisingly subtle and melancholy.
How does it compare to the original? It will make you want to listen to the original, which isn’t necessarily a go-to Calvin tune like ‘Outside’ or ‘One Kiss’. So job well done, right?
1. ‘Wrecking Ball’ (Miley Cyrus cover) – Midnite String Quartet
A somewhat mournful, string-led version of Miley‘s bombastic power ballad. Sadly, Bridgerton makes no attempt to reference the iconic video in the show.
How does it compare to the original? It works well, perhaps because ‘Wrecking Ball’ is such a grandiose and overblown song to begin with. And actually, let’s bump Miley’s ‘Midnight Sky’ to the top of the list for season three.