Armstrong takes a mediocre song and spins it to update the sound for a 21st century audience.
Originally performed by The Wonders and appearing in the 1997 film That Thing You Do! (starring Tom Hanks), ‘That Thing You Do!’ has the classic doo-whop sound of the 1950s rock and roll vibe.
Considering I didn’t know it was a cover at first, I was quite impressed. I thought this is honestly the best thing Billie Joe Armstrong has ever written and performed in a very long time… until I read the tag line it was a cover for his ‘No Fun Mondays’ release campaign. I love him and Green Day respectfully but let’s be honest, they’re not like they used to be – that’s why I was pleasantly surprised by how great this track is.
I admit finding out it was a cover does take away a bit of the magic for me, but I definitely prefer Armstrong’s cover over the original. Armstrong’s vocals and use of that distinct ‘punk’ sound of the instruments revamps a dreary song. He could easily fool anyone into thinking it is an original Green Day song. And hey, he’s having fun playing and reinvigorating songs that old and new fans of him and his band can enjoy and indulge in, so what’s not to like?
‘That Thing You Do’ is available to listen to now via Reprise Records.