Taken By Trees "Sweet Child O' Mine"

Taken By Trees "Sweet Child O' Mine"
What’s so special about a Guns N’ Roses cover? Especially the one that’s been covered in some form by Manic Street Preachers, Juelz Santana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Texas, Sheryl Crow, Linkin Park, Avenged Sevenfold, Black Eyed Peas, Turbonegro, Luna, the Aluminum Group, Akasha & Neneh Cherry, and to a much lesser, completely unknown extent, Second Coming, Most Precious Blood, Dead Tongues, Flat Pack, Schmoof, DJ Dex & A, Chester the Pup… WTF? As you can see, the world needs another version of "Sweet Child O’ Mine” like a bargain bin needs another copy of The Spaghetti Incident?.

No, I haven’t heard all of even most of those versions. But as much as Luna put a nice woozy spin on Axl’s five-minute ballad, Crow, Linkin Park, BEP and you have to imagine, the rest of them, butchered the sweet sentiment of the sleazy L.A. rockers’ classic.

So, what does a solitary Swede with the voice of an angel bring to the table? Well, depending on what you’re looking for, it could be everything. And it is for me. Much like her striking 2007 debut, Open Field, and let’s face it, just about everything she’s graced with her warm coo, ex-Concretes siren Victoria Bergsman — or Taken By Trees as she’s christened her music — re-invents the song as her own.

A hushed piano assumes Slash’s legendary riff, but it’s also backed by the subtlest of guitars and a nearly invisible drum kit filling in some occasional rolls to give it more life. But as always, it’s that vocal vulnerability of Bergsman — exuding the longing Rose felt for his girlfriend — that lifts the song beyond the empty efforts that preceded it. Unpretentious, heartfelt and beautiful — yes, I’m gonna say it — which even the original can’t touch.

Taken By Trees "Sweet Child O’ Mine”