Kelly Clarkson Tackles Radiohead's 'Fake Plastic Trees'

13 June 2022 | 8:00 am | Staff Writer

The cover version 2022 delivered... but did we order it?

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Vocal powerhouse and now daytime television queen Kelly Clarkson has dropped a brand new EP of covers, fan favourites from her 'Kellyoke' segment from her daily variety show, including a run at Radiohead's classic Fake Plastic Trees

The song is sacred in the catalogue of Radiohead fans as the third (and some might argue best) single from their second record The Bends. Throwing off the expected one-hit-wonder shackles of Pablo Honey's Creep and featuring in acoustic mode on the Clueless soundtrack, the song is one of the band's most iconic, emotive and subtle early moments.

So, enter Since You Been Gone belter Kelly Clarkson and what do we have? Well, it's not a huge departure from the original. The recognisable acoustic strumming that opens the song remains, with some pop-style strings added to the mix as Clarkson's undeniably solid vocals meander amicably over the musical bed. As the song builds, so does Clarkson's vocal. When you're known for massive high notes and straight-down-the-line pop clarity, is Fake Plastic Trees a vocal triumph or a tragic murder in need of solving? 

Does the vulnerable imperfection of a young Thom Yorke have justice done to it by Clarkson? You be the judge. 

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But perhaps it's just the right time for this classic song to be rediscovered by a generation that was probably a decade away from birth when Yorke and his merry men first graced our earholes.