Sebastian the Crab vs Stellar Kart By Sam Devotta | August 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM
For August, I’ve decided to do an all-Disney version of (Un)Covered and who better to help me than idobi’s resident Disney fanatic, Hannah Pierangelo? We (un)covered everything from Jamaican crabs to lazy bears to ambitious lion cubs, so settle in because you’ve won your own free pass to be our guest (be our guest!) every Wednesday this month!
“Kiss the Girl” Writers: Alan Menken, Howard Ashman Original Release Date: November 17, 1989
Before I begin, you should know my two favorite things in this world are Disney movies and pop rock. As an avid consumer of both, I had always felt the two were fairly separate. I mean, princess musical numbers and guitar solos don’t make sense right? Wrong. Stellar Kart will probably change your life with their absolutely addictive rendition of “Kiss The Girl.” This is easily one of my favorite covers of all time (which might have something to do with the fact that The Little Mermaid is, like, my favorite Disney movie) and probably even one of my favorite songs. I knew Alan Menken and Howard Ashman could write a catchy tune, since the two worked on a few other timeless Disney favorites like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast, but a romantic pop-rock anthem? Who knew?
Percussion. Strings. Winds. Words. Yep, from those four words alone, I’m already prepping to sing along to one of the greatest songs in the Disney catalog (imo), “Kiss The Girl.” And you better believe I’m trying to mimic Sebastian’s Jamaican accent the whole time! In The Little Mermaid, this song takes on a slightly serious tone—you know, to set the mood—going for a low and sultry vibe as Ariel and Eric row their boat along a swampy-looking bay (or blue lagoon, I guess?). Disney lays it on thick with the fireflies dancing around them and moonlight shimmering on the surface of the still water, while this gentle but encouraging song is playing to help Eric work up the nerve. But it’s cute, and helps push the story along. Plus, you’ve gotta admit how catchy that “Sha-la-la” bit is. Menken & Co. know how to write a musical number, but you knew that already (it was even nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song!). In fact, you probably already know this song inside out already. Let’s skip to the part you’re really here for: this awesome cover that I’m mildly obsessed with.
Stellar Kart kick this song into high gear from the start. They completely ditch the smooth strings and silky vocals you know from the original, instead opting for a very in-your-face guitar hook and drum sequence that feels straight out of the early 2000s pop punk scene. But it’s a good kind of different. The kind that makes you reevaluate every Disney song you’ve ever heard. The kind that reminds you how long you’ve been waiting for Fearless to hurry up and do the damn Disney comp! Stellar Kart really amp up the classic love song, adding in flashy melodies and drum fills, killer harmonies, and enough repetition to make this previously catchy musical number a true earworm. It’s enough to make me want a High School Musical-esque movie (complete with a teenage garage band and cliché drama) soundtracked entirely by pop rock Disney covers. Has that been done yet? If not, someone please make this happen because I am 100% on board.
After hearing this total transformation of a Disney classic, you probably want to watch The Little Mermaid again, right? I know I do. I can say with certainty that I will always adore the original Disney song, but when this cover comes up on shuffle, I’m definitely turning up the volume and singing along. But for those times when happy pop-punk tunes don’t fit the mood, here’s a bonus cover of “Kiss The Girl” by Youtuber Chase Holfelder, transposed into minor key for a creepy take on the melody.