Gary Jules did that Tears for Fears cover of “Mad World” that runs over the end sequence of everyone‘s favorite movie, Donnie Darko, and rode a wave of success in the UK. Such ridiculousness seems to happen every five years or so, with Frente! covering New Order’s “Bizarre Love Triangle” to great approval in the mid-’90s and Orgy doing a rape-rock version of “Blue Monday” before going on to roll in the green.
So I suppose Mr. Gary Jules gets some credit for profiting off a different ’80s British band, but it seems it should end there. Busting out of the Los Angeles singer-songwriter scene — which hasn’t produced much aside from the death of Elliott Smith — with a bid for a chunk of John Mayer or Jason Mraz’s fanbase, Jules produces something of a wispy acoustic Paul Simon/James Taylor hybrid. He has a voice that aches to be our generation’s Peter Cetera.
“No Poetry” has him rambling to a love that “there’s no poetry between us,” and later there’s “room at the bar for ‘The Princess of Hollywood Way.’ ” Did he just say he’s up on Inspiration Drive? No cover of Kirk Van Houten’s “Can I Borrow a Feeling” here, but he did include “Mad World” for the screaming British fans — thankfully here we don’t tolerate this kind of crap.