(Un)Covered: Bulletproof

LaRoux vs Family Force 5 By | August 16, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Bulletproof”
Writers: Elly Jackson, Ben Langmaid
Original Release Date: June 21, 2009

It’s been several years since “Bulletproof” came out, but I’m having fun jamming to this song and I need to remind everyone about it.

English synthpop duo LaRoux burst onto the scene in 2009 with this banger of a song. It’s actually ridiculous how catchy “Bulletproof” is—the chorus, the verses, even the electronics all come together brilliantly and you won’t be able to stop your shoulders from shimmying along. The lyrics, “I won’t let you turn around / And tell me now I’m much too proud / To walk away from something when it’s dead” indicate that the song is about the end of a relationship, but it still manages to deliver a positive message: Moving on and staying strong in the face of unhappiness. “Bulletproof” is like wearing sparkly nail polish in the summer—it’s bright and makes you happy, and it’s incredibly hard to remove.

If LaRoux’s original is sparkly nail polish, Family Force 5’s cover is straight-up glitter: A little edgier, and almost impossible to wash off. Just when you think you’ve wiped the last of it away, the electronic opening worms its way back into your head when you least expect it. As far as covers go, this was the perfect choice for FF5 to tackle: The electropop original is close enough to the crunk rock they are known for, so it was easy to adapt it to fit their sound. Former vocalist Solomon “Soul Glow Activatur” Olds obviously has a deeper voice than LaRoux’s Ellie Jackson, but he carries the song well and gives it a robotic feel that works with their heavy instrumentals.

Personally, I’ve always loved how Family Force 5 mash up all sorts of genres while still making you dance, and their cover of “Bulletproof” is no exception.