I don’t normally post about shows like The Voice, but trilby-wearing, elf-faced Josh Kaufman blew me away last night. And, no, he’s not hot. He’s just good.
A few notes into George Michael’s “One More Try,” Adam Levine turned his big red chair around in approval. Indiana native Josh was already nailing it. The truth is it’s hard for me to think of any song off that 1988 Faith cassette without picturing the former Wham! frontman in his ripped jeans and scruffy five o’clock shadow, shaking his rump and pretending to be into Asian women. It’s often hard to separate the artist from the song.
It’s kind of like how every December, the radio stations and department stores put George Michael’s “Last Christmas” on high rotation, and I can’t enjoy it as a holiday song, because I keep picturing him in public toilets, soliciting sex from policemen and being foolish enough to get caught. Kind of ruins the whole Christmas spirit.
So for Josh Kaufman to be able to belt the song out in a new and soulful way, devoid of all that Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou baggage, was refreshing. Once you’re sick of a song, you’re usually sick of it forever. I’m talking to you, “Red Red Wine.” But Josh infused this ballad with new life.
As he continued to sing it, I feared he wouldn’t be able to hit the money note, “Hold you, touch YOU-OOOOO,” but he did. In spades.
Adam Levine’s comment to Josh once he finished: “Damn.”