It may perhaps be considered blasphemous 🙂 to add a cover version of a Melanie classic to my compilation of songs to play loud but I think that even die-hard Melanie fans will agree that Emiliana Torrini’s interpretation of Melanie’s “I really loved Harold” (link goes to the original, on YouTube) has something to it – the difference for me is in the refrain especially, and its instrumentation in the cover version: together with Torrini’s voice, it has an impact that makes me crank up the volume every time:
Emiliana and Melanie are obviously different singers. I find Melanie’s voice very expressive, at least in her heyday she had this special and quite unique timbre and vibrato that she seemingly was able to just switch on and off at will (here and there it sounds almost brittle in this song).
By comparison, Emiliana’s a trained opera singer by comparison, and how she effortlessly goes into the refrain with such clarity is quite admirable I think, even though it lacks the expression of Melanie’s original a bit. But again, the reason to play this loud is the refrain’s combination of instrumentation and her singing.