Can’t say we saw this coming.
When Johnny Cash started covering Nine Inch Nails and U2, at first it was tough to know what to think. While in retrospect the covers albums Rick Rubin coaxed out of the late-great country star seems brilliant and inspired, at the time it was mighty tempting to poke fun at the folk hero covering tunes normally flowing out of Bono‘s purple-tinged sunglasses.
Today we confront a similar feeling listening to Willie Nelson covering Coldplay’s “The Scientist” from the 2002 record “A Rush of Blood to the Head.” The initial schadenfreude we anticipate when hitting play quickly dissipates as we recognize under the signature Coldplay sheen the unmistakable shape of a great song. Willie Nelson’s weathered voice lends a gravity to the lyric “I’m going back to the start” that the bright-eyed Chris Martin just can’t quite convey yet.
And then there’s Chipotle—an equally mercurial entity to attempt to criticize. The few facts most people know about Chiptole stem from wildly contradictory claims about its relative healthiness: its burritos have more fat and calories than a Big Mac, yet it supposedly uses lots of organic and free range ingredients, and it used to be partly owned by McDonald’s.
All of which makes a Chipotle-sponsored video about the evils of factory farming confusing. Throw inWillie Nelson covering Coldplay for a charity called Chipotle Cultivate Foundation—that provides funding for sustainable agriculture—into the mix, and I’m downright befuddled.
Goofy? You bet. Bad? Not at all. Listen to the song below and check out the video, and prepare to have your cultural compass spun on its ass. Or click here to buy from iTunes.