Further proof of my indie deprogramming – I downloaded the Postal Service’s puddly version of Phil’s monster ballad and the wind-machine original and Phil’s version sounded so much better than the Postal’s blips-and-raindrops twee-out even though my pet had just died!

Though actually the Postal Service version isn’t bad — for one thing it’s a really great song and they don’t fuck it around. For another I have a sneaky liking for this synth-pop subgenre of weedy vocals wed to decaying sonics — consumptive covers of The Smiths and John Lennon (by SchneiderTM and Lassigue Benthaus respectively) have been fixtures on my playlists recently. It’s gimmicky and deeply indulgent but they just sound so pretty, the big-eye paintings of the IDM world.

Phil’s original makes mis-steps too, mostly down to Phil himself – all those awful soulful ‘ooh yeah’, ‘ooh hoo’ asides when the song is all gritting teeth to block the tears because – crucially – you’re a middle-aged man who listens to Proper Music and has a Proper Life and that means you don’t cry. And the ending is rotten. Even so when the drums come in it’s a gut-punch moment – the bone-dry hugeness of 80s rhythm pads has never sounded so lonesome. The ur-version of “Against All Odds” will always be by a drunk divorced man in a suburban karaoke, singing his desperate heart away – Phil’s original is just a guide vocal.

[UPDATE! It’s the male “I Will Survive” isn’t it? Oh dear.]