As much a love letter to fans of crossover electronica, oversized pop hooks and alternative rock reimagining, The Private Language’s version of the Tears for Fears staple “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” is as provocative as you would anticipate it being, and all for one main reason – it doesn’t fill in the lines drawn out by those who composed it. Instead of filling in the parameters of the original song, The Private Language dream up their own shape for this performance and end up with what could be the most stirring rendition of an old school hit I’ve heard in a long time.
The textural output of the instrumentation is what really puts a signature on this mix for the players, as I don’t recall ever hearing a version of this song sounding as grainy yet streamlined on the backend as this one does. It’s both abrasive and stealthily comforting in spots, configuring with the imagery we see in the video to make a rather ominous feeling trailing behind every word The Private Language utter to us. This is as multidimensional as you can be with a cover, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that became the consensus among critics here.
I seldom go for redesigned 80’s rock songs, but this is worthy of an exception if I was ever going to allow one. The Private Language have a postmodern bend to their aesthetics in this performance that gave me chills the first few times I watched the music video for the track, and if they can carry this same enthusiasm and energy over to the studio for some original recordings, I think this will mark the first of many times that their moniker graces the headlines on the indie press circuit. They’ve got the talent, now it’s just a matter of putting it into practice the right way.