Ester Dean ‘Can’t Make’ This Bonnie Raitt Classic Better Than Before

Perhaps it's a tell-tale sign of my age, but I've been slow to hop on board the techno/dance music train that seems to be picking up eager passengers left and right these days. Even as artists close in age to me have joined in the techno fun (here's looking at you Usher), it still ends up sounding like a hot ass cacophonous mess to me. So hearing that Ester Dean had taken Bonnie Raitt's classic "I Can't Make You Love Me" into the realms of the current trend left me feeling more than a little apprehensive. The thing that made Raitt's 1991 original so successful was the pensive sense of resignation that permeated the lyrics and arrangement. Taking those sentiments and speeding it up could potentially diminish that effect. After a few spins, I'm happy to report that it's definitely not as awkward as it sounds. Dean's voice is more than able to take on Raitt's stirring rendition. However, as I feared, the original aching beauty gets lost in the musical sauce, transforming it in to just another dance tune with Auto-Tuned vocal effects and a thumping beat that makes the Jersey Shore fist pump a suitable dance move. Rumored to be the debut single from her long-awaited debut, Stories Never Told, I'll hold out hope that this is just one-off blemish on her otherwise impressive catalog.


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