There’s nothing sadder than dusting off an old pop song to hear Elton John or Dusty Springfield sublimate their true desire and sing about the opposite sex. Thankfully, the music biz has since given us Gay Messiahs like Rufus Wainwright, Troye Sivan, Haley Kiyoko, Halsey, etc. etc. and so on, even though it’ll still take decades to right our historical wrongs of forcing musicians into the closet.
However, a new EP is seeking to nudge that process along. Funded by surprise benefactor MGM Resorts International, Universal Love is a compilation of classic covers with a twist: several have been covered by queer artists and gender-flipped to make them queer AF. Thus, we have Kesha covering Janis Joplin’s “I Need a Man to Love,” but instead of keeping things straight as a pandering musician might, Kesha has changed the song to “I Need a Man to Love.” There’s also Kele Okereke singing The Temptations’ “My Girl,” except the song is now — wait for it — “My Guy.”
That’s probably not even the best song on the EP, though. (As it turns out, “My Girl” works best in its original corny glory.) That honor probably goes to St. Vincent’s cover of The Crystals’ “And Then He Kissed Me,” repurposed as “And Then She Kissed Me.” Rounding out the v. short EP is Bob Dylan with “He’s Funny That Way,” bluegrass singer Valerie June with “Mad About the Girl,” and Death Cab for Cutie frontman Benjamin Gibbard with “And I Love Him.”
Apparently, MGM Resorts is doing all this for the gays because LGBTQ folks make up almost 30 percent of their annual Vegas weddings. (And, it goes without saying that MGM likely wants to keep them coming.) But do we really need justification for a work/hookup/brunch commute’s worth of hot guys and gals singing to us about same-sex affairs? Nope.