Cohen, Cale, k.d. and Constantine

Post Rock has been overrun by angry Constantine Maroulis fans this week. One of the commenters suggested we take a look at a recent YouTube clip of Maroulis covering Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." We did. Then we looked at some other versions of the oft-covered classic. How does the former almost-"Idol" stack up? You be the judge.

Leonard Cohen

Jeff Buckley

John Cale

Rufus Wainwright

k.d. lang

Constantine Maroulis

By David Malitz |  February 22, 2008; 11:44 AM ET Rankings
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Comments

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Boy, don't mess with those American Idol fans. They like their bland soul-less music and damn those who don't.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2008 12:18 PM

Buckley all the way... Brandi Carlile also does a great version - she ends all her shows with the song.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 22, 2008 1:07 PM

If Constantine doesn't come across that bad doing this song - it's because of song not the singer. He doesn't embarass himself - but he doesn't have the soul to own it.

For me, it's Buckley's all the way. No question. Goose bumps.

Posted by: allgravy | February 22, 2008 4:27 PM

I'd have to vote for K.D Lang and Rufus Wainwright as the most emotionally moving artists, as my opinion only of course.

Posted by: Anonymous | February 23, 2008 12:13 AM

With no slight to Buckley, I'm another vote for Brandi Carlile.

Here's my question, what was Constantine doing at World Cafe Live?

Posted by: sparker | February 23, 2008 11:11 AM

Agree on the Brandi Carlile... iTunes has her version available. But yeah, Buckley takes it

Posted by: Anonymous | February 25, 2008 9:19 AM

Buckley clearly takes the cake, but an underrated one is Ari Hest (look him up on Youtube; he hits notes that even Buckley didn't hit).

Posted by: anon | February 26, 2008 2:39 PM

As I draw the ire of my compatriots, nobody does like the original. Some do great versions but that's all they are are, versions.

Posted by: hookfinger | February 26, 2008 4:23 PM

Sorry Mr. Finger, as Aretha stole Respect from Otis Redding, so too does John Cale provide the definitive version of Hallelujah. Buckley's version is a bit overwrought but he's got nothing on Brandi Carlile on the yodeling front. Typical for him, Wainwright's version is distinguished by the whining.

Posted by: blue_94_trooper | February 26, 2008 4:31 PM

Still no love for Constantine?

Posted by: Anonymous | February 27, 2008 3:14 PM

Allison Crowe, (an amazing musician overall), performs a glorious Hallelujah. Straight from/to the soul.

Posted by: Erich | March 6, 2008 12:21 PM

Love, Love Constantine!! I love him singing this song!

Posted by: Cluv | March 10, 2008 1:56 AM


What was Constantine doing at the World Cafe Live? He was performing to full houses in a series of 'Intimate Evening' acoustic shows on the east coast last month.
Contrary to what some would like you to believe, this guy has a beautiful, trained voice, is a natural comedian and puts on a great show.

Posted by: Jay | March 10, 2008 2:26 AM

I have loved Buckley's version for a long time. But I agree it is overwrought. Sometimes I like overwrought. LOL There's a great youtube of him singing it live in Chicago. Extremely overwrought. I love it!! I enjoy Cohen singing his song very much and that video is a very interesting production that offers a glimpse of what the song really means to the writer, at least on that day. I can't stand KD and even less when SHE'S overwrought and on her knees. Rufus is a bore and whiney. The orchestration for Cale's version is lovely, but his voice ruins it. Constantine's voice is truly beautiful. It resonates in ways the others just don't. His version is heartfelt without being overwrought. IMO he is under-rated because most people only remember him as the hot guy with the smoldering eyes on Idol. Not so apparently.

Posted by: notsomuch | March 10, 2008 4:02 AM

For me Constantine's is the best. I love his voice and his passion.

I listened to all of these and some others. Buckley's is outstanding. It's a beautiful song, the music is lovely and the lyrics haunting. Although some artists just sing the words; Constantine conveys the lyrics in a way that I feel the emotion in the song.....amazing!

Posted by: cheryl | March 10, 2008 6:36 AM

No doubt about it, it's a beautiful song. It can, however, be over done with too many theatrics. Constantine's version is simple, emotional, cuts right thru the heart. His voice absolutely soars. Love it, just love it.

Posted by: beebee | March 10, 2008 7:05 AM

It's always difficult to compare one artist's version of a song to another and try to say one is better than another. It's more about personal preference and less about who sings it better. Unless of course the person can not sing, which does not apply in this situation. Constantine is not in competition with these other artists. He is simply interpreting this beautiful song, and singing it from his heart. I was brought to tears by his version thru a YouTube video the first time I heard it, and I am acutely familiar with this glorious song and have heard it many times in the past. I am proudly a fan of Constantine Maroulis so I am connected to his version on a more emotional level. Just as a fan of Jeff Buckley's would be of his. Neither is wrong. As a fan of Constantine's, I do find myself growing weary of the hurtful,often insulting remarks that are so often made about him, as though he is a joke or something. And I'm sure that you were directed to his performance of this song to illustrate that he is a serious artist with serious abilities, who at least deserves respect, as any other artist does. Not because his fans are crazy. Or because anyone thinks he's a better artist than Jeff Buckley or any of these other artists.

But, since the need exists to make this into a competition, I will have to give Constantine my vote.

Posted by: qtwoot | March 10, 2008 7:48 AM

I voted for Constantine but I think all of these versions are beautiful.

Posted by: kim | March 10, 2008 8:08 AM

Seeing Constantine sing Hallelujah at Ram's Head Tavern on February 25th was the most moving performance I have ever seen. His voice is so rich, so emotional, yet so gentle. Constantine has said that Hallelujah is the perfect song, and as far as I am concerned he has the perfect voice to sing it. There is no other voice I want to hear.

Posted by: Suzanne | March 10, 2008 8:38 AM

#1 Jeff Buckley
#2 Rufus Wainright
#3 KD Lang
#4 Leonard Cohen
#5 John Cale

I tried to listen to Constantine's version but I turned it off after a minute or two. Sorry, just being honest. I did like the dreadlocked contestant that sang Hallelujah the other night on AI. Why isn't he in the poll instead of Constatine? I would have rated him #3 behind Wainright.

Posted by: Sara | March 10, 2008 9:09 AM

The Ram's Head show performance by Constantine was even more moving. I showed co-workers video of his performance and they were amazed. BonJovi does a really nice version of the song, too.

Hands down, Constantine.

Posted by: redrum | March 10, 2008 9:14 AM

I find most of those performances rather odd or boring. I like Constantine's version. He feels the song without overdoing. There are videos of him at some of the other venues he played at and I think the Ram's Head show was the best one. It's amazing. Check it out.

Posted by: sylvie | March 10, 2008 9:19 AM

When any artist attempts their interpretation of a classic, it's almost a given that it will be unfavorably compared to the original. It's a point well-made that personal preference as to what is "best" will vary wildly according to who happens to be listening, and what styles they may happen to enjoy.

I was present at Constantine's performance at the WLC, and I found his interpretation to be beautifully moving; passionate and heartfelt as he caught the audience under his spell. It was a lovely experience.

Posted by: Vicky | March 10, 2008 9:19 AM

Constantine Maroulis all the way! We love you C~. Keep on Rockin' I saw Him perform the song 4 times last month and he got a (well deserved)standing ovation each and every time!! His performances were very moving and you could see the emotion in his face! Those of you who do not know Constantine very well should listen objectively, and give him a chance!

Posted by: Renie | March 10, 2008 9:24 AM

I have always loved Buckley's version of this song made even more significant because of his unfortunate death. I found Rufus to be as someone else said whiny and I really didn't enjoy the others. I almost think this song needs to be experienced in person. As for Constantine, I was pleasantly surprised. I thought he pulled it off really well. I don't remember his voice being that good on Idol. People don't seem to want to give him any credit because he was on the show which I don't really understand. I enjoyed his version very much. Music really shouldn't be a competition....

Posted by: BillNYC | March 10, 2008 9:46 AM

I watched all of the videos. My favorite two were k.d. Lang and Constantine.

A Constantine Fan

Peace!

Posted by: I'm Not Angry :>) | March 10, 2008 9:53 AM

I can't believe you even put that poseur up there among those actual artists. The guy is a joke! Yuck!

I get the irony, but let's not let Constantine's pack of 40 rabid housefrau fans intimidate you into exposing your audience to that kind of garbage again.

Posted by: vicky | March 10, 2008 9:55 AM

"Music really shouldn't be a competition...."

No, it shouldn't. I myself am extremely partial to Constantine's version, because I was there when he sang it in Annapolis, and I was moved to tears. But I also think Buckley's and kd lang's versions are well done. It's a beautiful song. One of Cohen's best, and that's saying a lot, because he is an exceptional songwriter.

Posted by: Vicki G. | March 10, 2008 9:55 AM

I love this song. Period. I guess it resonates with those old enough to have life experience behind the emotions it covers (eek, did I say "old"?)...

It's obvious that these singers love the song too. I appreciate the respect they show it, whether one thinks the song has gotten more of its own life than Cohen ever intended it to have.

I choose Constantine's version. He tells a story like no other, and has the golden pipes to send it straight to one's (my) heart.
I noticed with all this publicity that Buckley's version was #1 in iTunes a day or so ago for a while...

And if you get a chance to see Constantine perform it live, go.
The prep, the stillness of the audience and air, and the resonance of his voice cannot be captured on a youtube clip.

Posted by: NotInNYC | March 10, 2008 10:01 AM

Quote:I get the irony, but let's not let Constantine's pack of 40 rabid housefrau fans intimidate you into exposing your audience to that kind of garbage again. /End Quote

Huh?


You don't even care for music, do ya?

Posted by: estelle | March 10, 2008 10:04 AM

Close but no cigar. Jason Castro brought the house down! look him up!

Posted by: Angelina | March 10, 2008 10:10 AM

I watched it. Jason's version was weak. He was just singing the words and not really putting any interpretation in it. I was surprised any of the judges liked it.

Posted by: Anon | March 10, 2008 10:17 AM

Well now the granny fannies are spamming the poll. If he wins, does that mean he'll sell more than 100 cd's this week? Or have one of his songs played on actual radio? Or does it just mean that the Washington Post and all the haaaaters will be PWNED?

Posted by: penelope | March 10, 2008 10:22 AM

I was first introduced to Hallelujah through a You-Tube of Drew Sarich performing the song...and it instantly became my favorite song.
I believe there are several good versions out there...looking at the list in Wikipedia of those who have covered the song, it is quite extensive and genre-spanning.
I've listened to more versions than what you have listed in the poll above (actually, another very good one omitted from the list is Mr. JBJ)....However, I have to say that Constantine's is the most passionate, emotionally heartfelt performance I've witnessed to date. His interpretive skills are so very impressive...communicating in subtle nuances his connection with the song, and his vocal training(breath control, et. al) is evident and enviable.
I respect Buckley immensely, but (please don't throw rocks!)his voice just doesn't do it for me. And to the "owning" of the song, Constantine pays homage to Buckley by performing his "cut"..and to Mr. Cohen by proclaiming it possibly the most perfect song ever written. This respect shows in his performance.

Posted by: ports4life | March 10, 2008 10:30 AM

I have to quote Notsomuch - you said it all :

"Constantine's voice is truly beautiful. It resonates in ways the others just don't. His version is heartfelt without being overwrought. IMO he is under-rated because most people only remember him as the hot guy with the smoldering eyes on Idol. Not so apparently."


Posted by: The Pilot | March 10, 2008 10:31 AM

Close but no cigar. Jason Castro brought the house down! look him up!

--------------------------------------------------

Hahaha.
Jason Castro is a little boy who appeals to an audience of little girls who haven't a clue what the song's about. Neither does he. Might as well be Miley Cirus.

It takes some maturity to do the song justice. All of these versions convince me the singer at least has the experience and thoughtfulness to give a complex song the gravitas it warrants.

Posted by: estelle | March 10, 2008 10:32 AM

"Hallelujah" is one of the most beautiful songs ever written. Jeff Buckley's version is so stirring and K.D. Lang's rendition is, indeed, impressive; however, I do believe Constantine's interpretation of the lyrics is perhaps the most poignant of them all. Constantine dynamics are simply extraordinary, as he immerses himself into the beautiful libretto, accompanied by merely a guitar. Truly a remarkable performance from Constantine. Good for him!

Posted by: SueXX | March 10, 2008 10:36 AM

The evangelical fervor of Constantine's several dozen fans is really something to behold. These are people who had never heard "Hallelujah" before Constantine sang it at one of his "concerts," much less people who were aware of the existence of real artists like Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, etc. They live in a Constantine-centric universe, and are quite proud of that fact.

If Pop Rock's goal was to put Constantine's fans in their place by exhibiting to the world how laughable his caterwauling is in comparison to other singers, I'm afraid you've only made things worse. Constantine's fans are incapable of understanding the pejorative context of this little competition, since they ascribe to the notion of "all publicity is good publicity." As such, even when the object of their deluded affections is being mocked, they start proclaiming that people "can't stop talking about him" and that his big break is just around the corner!!!! Not withstanding the fact, of course, that his big break already occurred several years ago on American Idol - and we all know how well that turned out.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 10:37 AM

OMG, I am in tears (cryin', sobbin', wailin').
That version of a totally beautiful song that should be immortalized in songwriting history by none other than a theatre-wannabe named Constantine has destroyed my world.

It was awful. I am in pain. Absolute pain.

Back to cryin', sobbin' and wailin'.

I hope this post goes through. My account gets hacked all the time so sometimes it doesn't work.

Posted by: newcarolina | March 10, 2008 10:43 AM

Let's go, ConFan. Spam that poll! Then the WORLD WILL KNOW. Oh yes, this man is a musical force to be reckoned with and WE WILL NOT LET HIM FADE INTO OBSCURITY GRACEFULLY. NO! WE FIGHT! FRAUEN POWER!!!

Posted by: Carp | March 10, 2008 11:51 AM

"They live in a Constantine-centric universe, and are quite proud of that fact."

And you apparently live in a Constantine-Fan-centric universe and are quite proud of THAT fact. (??!!)

Why not talk about the music presented here?

Ahhhh, yeah, you don't really care for music...

Posted by: andrewd | March 10, 2008 11:57 AM

There's been so many versions of the song. It's truly hard to judge because each holds a place in someone's heart. My kids call it the Shrek song. That's the Rufus Wainwright version. Good, but when I hear the others, I find something good in all of them. Beautiful song; very moving. JBJ's version should have been on this list. Since you are doing this poll to compare Constantine to the rest of the singers, he held his own in this grouping. Very nice.

Posted by: ChrisinDC | March 10, 2008 12:04 PM

It's hilarious to see people who think that "Hallelujah" is a Christian hymn talk about how Constantine gets the true meaning of the song.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 12:04 PM

"Why not talk about the music presented here?"

In case you didn't get the memo, the point of this blog wasn't to "talk about the music." The point was to mock Constantine and lure out his whacko fans. Including the ones who use their kids' names when they post in order to make it look like he's got male fans.

Well done!

Posted by: cherylduch | March 10, 2008 12:12 PM

"You don't even care for music, do ya?"

OMG THAT'S SO WITTY AND IRONIC LOL

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 12:15 PM

"It's hilarious to see people who think that "Hallelujah" is a Christian hymn talk about how Constantine gets the true meaning of the song."

Although there are many who interpret the song as purely biblical, if one does that they completely miss the mark on what Cohen intended by using that imagery. The song reaches for the sacred in a profane, earthbound existence where love is a tragedy that keeps us from hearing the "sacred chord." But we keep trying to reach heaven on earth anyway.

Cohen's words:
There's a blaze of light In every word, it doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken Hallelujah

I can see you are without sin, since you cast the first stone, but I haven't seen any commenters here even mention the Christian aspect.

I like all the versions.


Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 12:20 PM

Constantine can't even remember lyrics let alone sing. No wonder he always says he's sick. He works harder than anyone...at making excuses.

Posted by: Christina | March 10, 2008 12:26 PM

well...clearly here you can see who the angry ones are. This is a group of women that find pleasure in following Constantine's career and mocking all his fans. Their hate and vile humor is really old and only demonstrates their maturity level. I really don't know how they live with themselves. It's sad that this has to happen over and over. What could have been an interesting discussion here has now turned into the heathers hate...They continue to try and feel good about themselves by putting others down..I appreciate the real comments about the music here...

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 12:37 PM

I'd have to say Constantine's performance is the most moving for me. Possibly because I saw it live at the Rams Head.
He received a well deserved standing ovation there.

Posted by: deege | March 10, 2008 1:02 PM

Dragging out words and tightening your trachea does not = emotion. Not now, not ever. It is, however, suitable for sound effect in ZOMBIE MOVIES. "Ugggnnnnnggghhhh"

This is what I hear in Constantine's version. Not passion, but fake, over-emoting.

Sadly, this is what shows like American Idol have done to music. They've cheapened it and turned it into a plastic mimicry of creativity. It makes me very sad.

Posted by: Anti-Society | March 10, 2008 1:03 PM

Oh, and don't think for a second that this poll means a damn thing.

Any poll that includes Americal Idol is tainted by houewives with agendas. They're probably working their way through the phone tree as we speak.

Posted by: Anti-Society | March 10, 2008 1:11 PM

"Sadly, this is what shows like American Idol have done to music. They've cheapened it and turned it into a plastic mimicry of creativity."

Naw. The music industry did that long before AI. But, it's not really sad. There's a wealth of great music being made by indie artists and others who don't get top 40 play. If all you ever listen to is what's popular, you're missing a lot. Leonard Cohen and Jeff Buckley never got any radio play either. None of these artists are supported by radio. But, they're still artists with a right to expression and people who enjoy their offerings.

Out of all the voices, Constantine's is the best.
Out of all the interpretations, Buckley's is still the one.

Posted by: happyhappyjoyjoy | March 10, 2008 1:22 PM

Polls like this mean nothing, really. Everyone has their own opinion and I respect that because if we all felt the same way the world would be a boring place.

For the record, I voted for Constantine's version. If you don't like him, nothing I say will make you change your mind so why should I bother? I'm sure everyone has their reasons for voting the way they do/did. All I'm going to say is watch Constantin's video, give the nice greekboy a chance. Maybe he'll surprise you. In a good way.

Keepin' it real...

Posted by: Kristin | March 10, 2008 1:35 PM

This is Constantine's Ram's Head performance of Hallelujah. It is exceptional. He received a very long standing ovation during the song, and then continued with the final verse. The "shout-outs" during the song are from a man who had seen Constantine perform in concert at least 3 other times since he was on AI and couldn't say enough wonderful things about him. He was with his wife and son, who wants to audition for AI next year. His son was thrilled to meet Constantine.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=bB_Bzo1XY3g

Posted by: Suzanne | March 10, 2008 1:40 PM

Thank you so much for informing me about the talented underground that isn't shiny enough to make the top 40! Really, I only know about Britney Spears and AI contestants!

Ugh. Entirely missed my point.

Posted by: Anti-Society | March 10, 2008 1:43 PM

Personal attacks to Constantine's fans should be removed, based on the rules above.

This is not about Constantine's fans.

Why do you haters have to act so immaturely? Give it a rest, why don'tcha? You're making fools of yourselves.

Posted by: Josh | March 10, 2008 1:46 PM

I didn't know he had it in him, but Constantine has made me a believer.

Posted by: BFM | March 10, 2008 2:02 PM

I like this version from Constantine too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OwznmPM2fz8

We might sing a broken Hallelujah here on earth but those who love Christ will shout and sing Hallelujah with gladness in heaven, where there is no more sorrow.

Posted by: Carol | March 10, 2008 2:04 PM

Oh no. Now we've got religious zealotry mixed in with rabid granny fannies. YOU'VE CROSSED THE STREAMS!

Posted by: Pal | March 10, 2008 2:07 PM

Constantine should of sung this on American Idol, I would of voted for him!
Beautiful!

Posted by: Notafan | March 10, 2008 2:10 PM

Jeff Buckley singing Hallelujah is a beatiful thing.

Posted by: Scott | March 10, 2008 2:12 PM

Ok, whoever made the snide remark about Miley Cyrus does not even understand anything. Ok Miley is amazing and if you would see her in concert you would know. She might not be the best singer in the world but she is an incredible performer and song writer. So don't compare Jason Castro to her.

As to what this was actually posted about, I was too lazy to listen to anybody's elses so I pick Constantine. Huge fan.

And I hope some of you people over 13 yell at me and say I don't know what I'm saying. But yea, I do.

Posted by: your mom | March 10, 2008 2:37 PM

I really love Constantine.

Posted by: Angie | March 10, 2008 2:48 PM

WTF is going on? Why compare artists? For the heck of it I gave him a listen. That Maroulis dude ain't bad.

Posted by: Tim | March 10, 2008 3:03 PM

"The evangelical fervor of Constantine's several dozen fans is really something to behold. These are people who had never heard "Hallelujah" before Constantine sang it at one of his "concerts," much less people who were aware of the existence of real artists like Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, John Cale, etc.."

Don't insult my intellegence. I saw 'Shrek' just like you did.

Posted by: Frau bluker | March 10, 2008 3:12 PM

Constantine did an ok job on this but he doesn't touch the likes of Buckley, Lang or Cale. Or even Jason Castro.

Constantine's one big moment was Bohemian Rhapsody but he hasn't been very rhapsodic since, and his abysmal CD sales bear that out. Unless all the cool people don't actually buy music because that's the only explanation why such an awesome talent (roll eyes here) has sold such a pitiful amount of discs. I guess the cool people also don't go to his shows which explains why his "full houses" numbered a couple of hundred at most, not thousands, and why most of the venues weren't even sold out.

If it weren't for the few fans who follow him wherever he goes and continue to send in things like this youtube in a failing attempt to gain new fans for a mediocre singer, those venues wouldn't have even sold 100 tickets.

I guess keeping such an awesome talent so well hidden that no one can hear it is playing the game and playing it smart.

Posted by: IceCreamLuvr | March 10, 2008 3:17 PM

I voted for Buckley his rendition is the best. Wainright and Lang are not bad but the rest including the AI dude are not so good.

Posted by: Kelly | March 10, 2008 3:23 PM

Enjoyed reading the thoughtful and real comments vs. the ones planted by women that spend their time mocking Constantine's fanbase... although they continue to follow him and his career religiously.

As a fan that saw Constantine perform Hallelujah live, I can tell you that he drew everyone; men & women, into that beautiful song. He sang it with such passion... C always puts all of his heart and soul into everything he sings... glad we have this keepsake from his tour.

Posted by: Bonnie | March 10, 2008 3:26 PM

Must be a full moon- all the nuts are out today. & BTW the nonfans make the fans of this guy seem intelligent and pleasant. Some of you missed the point here-LOL

Posted by: B T | March 10, 2008 3:38 PM

Who cares about the fans? No one can make that version of the song sound good. That's the part that matters.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 3:41 PM

Check out our Constantine Maroulis hater site at www.itsgoodtobeus.net

We need the traffic.

Posted by: Angie and Kristina | March 10, 2008 3:43 PM

The American Idol guy looks (and sounds) like he needs to pass something large through his bowels. Dude: stop straining like that!

Posted by: Ted | March 10, 2008 3:48 PM

Yes, the straining! Ugggghhhhnnnnnnnghh!

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 3:51 PM

Dear David Malitz:

Constantine recently snapped at a journalist with the LA Times, "those who can't, write."

I'd say he doesn't deserve ANY journalists coverage.

Posted by: You go, David | March 10, 2008 3:55 PM

I listened to all of the artists in order. I liked Jeff B. best, but when I got to k.d.lang's I got chills. Her emotion did not seem overbearing or forced. Then I listened to Constantine Maroulis' version. Again I got chills. So, which was better...the professional or the indie artist? k.d.lang is a professional with millions of cd's sold, and her performance showed her talent and professionalism. Constantine is a new indie artist that is trying to make it in the entertainment industry. I could feel his emotion while singing and he appeared to be very professional. So, my favorite? Constantine, because his voice and emotion moved me. I hope he does well and is able to be seen for his talent and not as a AI has been as some commenter's have said. It is sad that those that are not fans of his are trying to sway public opinion. Doesn't everyone deserve a chance to sing and be respected for trying? Jason C on AI did a fine job last week singing this song, but in my opinion he was too young to have the life experiences that song requires, but he gave it his all and did well.

Fan wars are not pretty and this should not be a war. It is about talent, emotion and the voice. I appreciate having all the different artists to listen to. Thank you.

Posted by: Jeanette | March 10, 2008 3:57 PM

I heard them all and I have to pick Constantine! Love Jeff too...but the live raw emotion really touched me in the one from Constantine.

Thank you David,
Why is that troll spamming your blog?
How silly.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 3:58 PM

Honestly, I would encourage Con's fans to just walk away from this poll. Angie/KC and their puppets are going to continue. We don't need to fight with them and play their game. We can be bigger then them/this game. We don't need to convince anyone of Con's talent. There's room for all artists.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 4:20 PM

Well David you (and Constantine) have given my vibrator quite a workout today!

bzzzzzzzzz....

Posted by: suzanne connell | March 10, 2008 4:21 PM

It's nice to see some people are open enough to listen and give their honest opinion here. Music is not a competition- Although, AI has made it one. I can prefer one version over the other and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. No one's opinion is right or wrong- it's just an opinion.


Posted by: Cheryl | March 10, 2008 4:22 PM

And to the morons who use other people's names to post- Will you ever move on???

Posted by: Cheryl | March 10, 2008 4:28 PM

The scariest thing of all...

is that all of you seem to know eachother.

American Idol is a curse.

Posted by: Anti-Society | March 10, 2008 4:30 PM

It's hard to select a favourite out of all these great offerings. It's like trying to pick your favourite colour or favourite child! Much as I flove Constantine, he does need to consider that sometimes LESS IS MORE!

Keep slaying it, GB!

Posted by: Pen | March 10, 2008 4:43 PM

My favoUrite thing is watching the fans fall into the same rabbit hole every time these polls appear. Some idiot at Greek Speak posts the link to the poll ON THE OPEN BOARD FOR ALL TO SEE. DUH! You're surprised that the pink contingent shows up? I'm not. It is inevatible. They don't come here to mess with Constantine either. They comne to f* with YOU FANS!! When will any of you GET A CLUE??? Never mind. I won't even bother. Let the games CONtinue.

Posted by: flyonthewall | March 10, 2008 4:52 PM

GET A CLUE

The clue is- We are happy and enjoying life & it drives the bitter ones crazy. Kind of funny ...& sad.


But all that I've ever learned from love
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you.

Posted by: lol | March 10, 2008 5:23 PM

I'm happy. I'm enjoying life. I just don't think he's all that. Hallelujah is a great song. Constantine isn't the only mediocre singer who has performed it. He certainly isn't the greatest; far from it.

Posted by: IceCreamLuvr | March 10, 2008 5:49 PM

Jeff Buckley was an amazing performer. He really lived his lyrics and could tell a story with passion and emotion...feeling every note and every nuance of his music. No one has been able to capture the depth of his raw, real emotion. Until now. Watching Constantine sing Hallelujah was like a religious experience for me. I haven't seen much of him since his time on American Idol. I enjoyed his performances on that show and I loved his voice, but I wasn't totally convinced by his emoting, feeling maybe it was more of an act than the genuine thing. That YouTube up there has caused me to take another look at him. The voice? Penetrating! This man most certainly was living that song as he sang it, just like the late, great Mr. Buckley. He convinced me with that one song to take another listen to him. His rendition moved me. It stirred up emotions in my heart that only Buckley could match. What an amazing singer! I will definately buy his album and hope to hear even more of Constantine Maroulis.

Posted by: Laura A. | March 10, 2008 5:51 PM

I just don't think he's all that.

ya see- that's just it- you don't have to. It's the ones who mock and ridicule anyone who does enjoy his talent that have a problem. Live and Let Live- right?
Music should be enjoyed- not cause arguments.

Posted by: lol | March 10, 2008 5:58 PM

I will definately buy his album and hope to hear even more of Constantine Maroulis.


THANKS DAVID!

Posted by: Cheryl | March 10, 2008 6:00 PM

Yes, I am a true music lover, and I know good music when I hear it! Constantine has his own unique style of singing, he has much stage presence and I agree, raw emotion, just see him sing this song live! Then maybe you'll "Get It"!
The ones that say Care about the music?

No, not all his fans are "over 40's Housewives", he appeals to all ages, young and older, and even "Males" too! Just go to his shows and see! Many of his shows were "All Ages" on his recent Tour in February. Some are listening to "Hearsay" here from others who do not know what they are talking about!

Constantine's version of Hallelujah is magnificant! Perfection and I cannot say enough about it!

Go listen to this again, and then see!

By the way, he has much talent and there is more there than you can imagine!

Posted by: Con4Me | March 10, 2008 6:08 PM

I think this is a beautiful song and love Buckley's version, but have to say Constantine can sing and his version gave me chills. I'm not sure what all the drama is with his fans and non-fans, but he is very talented. I didn't watch American Idol the season he was on it. So, since I didn't vote for him than I will give him my vote today! New fan here ! Great!!!

Posted by: amber | March 10, 2008 7:19 PM

I'm so sick of that Constantine dude! He can't sing and I don't know why all those girls follow him around to see him geeeshh

Posted by: zach | March 10, 2008 7:21 PM

After listening to the selections offered, I must say that no one outdoes Jeff Buckley on this song (though Jon BonJovi gives him a run for his money). Jason Castro (who someone above called a boy too young to have the "life experience" to sing this song with maturity)did an amazing job of it on Idol. I listened to about of Maroulis's version before I was too grossed out by his over-the-top gesturing and emoting. Why must this guy turn over song into a Broadway musical? He needs to turn it down a few notches.

On another note, the constant battles between Con's fans and his non-fans provide a never-ending source of amusement for the rest of us. Have at it, ladies!

Posted by: OMG | March 10, 2008 7:23 PM

I didn't realize that Constantine has a record out. What's the title, so I know what to look for? The guy's a fantastic song stylist.

Posted by: Brad | March 10, 2008 7:38 PM

His CD is titled "Constantine", and it's fantastic. Just picked up a copy last week. The guy can sing anything well. Amazing.

Posted by: Kieran | March 10, 2008 7:45 PM

Brad, if you're serious, his debut CD is simply titled "Constantine"

"over-the-top gesturing and emoting. Why must this guy turn over song into a Broadway musical? He needs to turn it down a few notches. "

huh? he never moved from the stool. Very little gesturing, other than wringing his hands with the emotion of the song. And granted, that's not his usual style.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5mjbCxfrSY

And has anyone mentioned how sick he was for most of the tour yet brought it at each show? His guitarist said he couldn't believe what the man could do half dead.

Not gonna compare or vote or anything. They ALL have their styles. All can be appreciated. There's room in this world for all the beautiful artists in it.


Posted by: wgahghg | March 10, 2008 7:57 PM

I actually like Constantine's the best. Not bad, not bad at all!

Posted by: Sam | March 10, 2008 7:59 PM

All are good renditions of the song. But this Constantine version is exemplary. I don't watch Idol, so I don't know the dude. But he has great range and great interpretation.

Posted by: Logan | March 10, 2008 8:15 PM

though Rufus was the original composer Constantine did a great job singing this. Keep in mind he was also not feeling well during that performance.

Posted by: nhb | March 10, 2008 8:29 PM

Hello? Rufus didn't compose that. Leonard Cohen did.

Posted by: IceCreamLuvr | March 10, 2008 8:34 PM

Jeff Buckley's version is it for me. Enjoyed the rest also. Not familiar with Constantine, but didn't really care for his version.

Posted by: zoey | March 10, 2008 8:41 PM

Nice job by the FanFraus of pretending to be breezy passers-by, rekindling their appreciation for Constantine and suddenly interested in buying his cd. Very creative. Let's see if he sells more than 100 this week then, shall we?

Posted by: clapclap | March 10, 2008 8:52 PM

what is the big deal with this song? It`s a boring song!!!!
But if I have to choose...well Constantine!

Posted by: CG | March 10, 2008 8:56 PM

Leonard Cohen is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame tonight. Hallelujah was his most recorded song, I believe. I wonder if someone will be performing it tonight in NYC? I liked Buckley's version a lot. Constantine's was alright, too. Cohen himself was not very comfortable on that stage singing. He's a great songwriter and Poet, though. The rest of the choices were ok, but how many different versions can you listen to objectively? This blog looks crazy.

Posted by: Missy | March 10, 2008 8:59 PM

byteme

Posted by: nhb | March 10, 2008 9:01 PM

"Hallelujah" is a song written by Leonard Cohen. It was first recorded on his 1984 album Various Positions. It has been covered numerous times and featured in the soundtracks of several movies and television shows. One of the best-known covers of "Hallelujah" was recorded by the American singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley for his 1994 album, Grace. Jeff Buckley's version is a sparse production of vocals and guitar, influenced by John Cale's earlier cover of "Hallelujah" which first appeared on his live album Fragments of a Rainy Season and later on the 1991 Leonard Cohen tribute album I'm Your Fan.

John Cale's version was featured in the 2001 animated film Shrek[1]. Rufus Wainwright covered the song as well, and his version appears on the film's soundtrack album rather than Cale's. This is apparently because Wainwright is signed with Dreamworks SKG and Cale is not.

Posted by: yoyos | March 10, 2008 9:05 PM

Leonard Cohen version sucks! I vote Constantine....

Posted by: katvond | March 10, 2008 9:07 PM

Now the crazy fraus will just come spam your poll. Can't pay for this kind of entertainment.

Posted by: ROTFL | March 10, 2008 9:17 PM

I do like both rufus and buckley's versions of the song, but I gotta say Constantine's is the best! He has such emotion in his voice. I was also at the WCL and witnessed this song for myself live. It gave me chills and brought me to tears. The only other singer who has done that for me was Josh Groban! Does it really matter how many cd's Constantine sells a week? He has had so many accomplishments in his career. Main thing is he has fans that support him and new fans everyday!

Posted by: ptdw | March 10, 2008 9:19 PM

@ Jay
Contrary to what some would like you to believe, this guy has a beautiful, trained voice, is a natural comedian and puts on a great show.


I KNOW! Constantine's joke about playing the skin flute when he was calling bingo numbers at that one gig was COMEDY GENIUS.

Posted by: Comment to Jay | March 10, 2008 9:19 PM

Even though I am a fan of Constantine, it was a toss-up for me between Constantine and Buckley. I am also a fan of KD Lang, but didn't care for her version.

I certainly don't understand the people who come here and post for the express purpose of bashing Constantine's fans. It is about the music, Constantine is no longer on American Idol you guys! Let it go!

Posted by: lucene | March 10, 2008 9:25 PM

Not really understanding all the comments made here, but that is a beautiful song.
They all in their own way do it justice, but if I were to choose, I like Constantine's version the best followed by
Jeff Buckley. How old are some of these
posters. Does their moms know what they are doing on the computer??

Posted by: keeping it real | March 10, 2008 9:37 PM

I'm a Constantine fan and love his version but I have to say KD Lang's version moved me the most followed by Constantine's and then Jeff Buckley's. The other versions I didn't like so much.

Posted by: jen | March 10, 2008 9:43 PM

The guy writing this blog is as happy as a pig in slop with all the hits he got today. He can thank Constantine for that.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 10:04 PM

OMG, are these crazy Idol hasbeen followers insane? Obviously they're deaf if they think that mildly talented poseur/musical theater guy is the best in this bunch. KD Lang in particular, but ALL of them would blow him out of the voting waters in any vote among knowledgeable music fans. However their opinion is definitely skewed by rose colored glasses that have rendered them blind, tone deaf and stupid. If he was a fraction as amazing as they think he is, he'd be a big star now. But alas, he's not and never will be. Sorry that your blogger/newspaper has been subjected to their insane wrath. Best to just ignore them. They're a small group-not literally, just in numbers.

Posted by: Anonymous Music Lover | March 10, 2008 10:46 PM

I'm a Constantine fan, a Rufus fan, a kd fan, and a Jon Bon Jovi fan. Saw JBJ perform it live last week in Phila, and it bordered on a religious experience, it was so beautiful. Constantine does an outstanding job with this song, it is so hard to sing, and he does great. You have to have a certain tone and range in your voice to sing this song, and he has it. I also saw kd sing it two weeks ago, live in Philadelphia...again, beautiful. I don't like Jeff Buckley's version, it is weak. IMO, people that love Jeff Buckley's version love it because it's his signature song and it sort of made him a legend. Not that he sings it the best. Hate Leonard's singing version, and don't care for John Cale's. Jason is one of my favorites on AI, but his version was weak. I think he forgot some words, and he squeaked some notes out, and even he looked like he didn't think it was that good. I was surprised by the judge's comments.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 10, 2008 11:03 PM

Constantine's version is as beautifully sung and heartfelt as Buckley's.

TY for this sampling of a soulful song.

Posted by: hits a chord with me! | March 11, 2008 12:06 AM

Leonard Cohen version sucks! I vote Constantine....
-------------------

Evidently you must be one of those uncultured and uneducated buffoons that wouldn't know good music (unless it is the sound of the wind whistling through your ears) if it slapped you in the face. Mr. Cohen's version is absolutely brilliant, as are the versions done by k.d. lang and Jeff Buckley. Some karaoke show has-been cannot begin to touch these artists, and it is revolting and an insult to the intelligent music listener that he is even mentioned among them.

Posted by: Smart music person | March 11, 2008 12:23 AM

Constantine surprised me, I really liked his version.

Posted by: Passing through | March 11, 2008 12:46 AM

Constantine changed since idol, I really enjoyed his, I now have this song STUCK in my head.
Great song! Thanks David

Posted by: ColorMEimpressed | March 11, 2008 5:47 AM

I loved this song the first time I heard it in Shrek. I had never heard it before. I like the way that artist sings it. I listened to Jeff Buckley version because I kept reading how his was the best. I liked it, but didn't think it lived up to all the hype. I guess it's hard to compare something when you're used to hearing it a certain way. My son watched Shrek nonstop. If I had heard Cohen's version first, I would have never listened to the song again! It's dreadful! I love the sound of Constantine's voice and his version is beautiful. Jason Castro should be included. He has such a smooth, pure voice and his version was just lovely.

Posted by: Lisa | March 11, 2008 11:04 AM

Wow... I love that song and Now I have a New version as my Favorite..Constantine's Version... Just Beautiful.. Wow... I am Impressed.. I dont watch american Idol so I dont understand all the fan bashing and stuff but that has to be children doing that, right? I hope so.... or this world is even sorrier than I thought...Out of those versions Constantine's is my Favorite.. But I do Love Jon BonJovi's version.

Posted by: LINY | March 11, 2008 12:05 PM

I don't really care about Constantine or this so-called battle. However, the irony, wit, and meaning of this song is completely lost in all of these cover versions except John Cale's and Cohen's original version. I can't even imagine it being played at the end of a cartoon. Jeff Buckley's version is most popular and he's something of a "legend" because he's dead. It was the greatest career move he ever made. Put this guy alongside Blind Melon. It's a real shame that Damien Rice sobbed his way through Buckley's version of the song at the Hall of Fame ceremony last night. With these cover versions, it doesn't even matter what the words are. Just warble earnestly and cry and every few seconds sing "Hallelujah".

Posted by: Yes, I am Better Than You | March 11, 2008 5:53 PM

Many Thanks, and Bye David, It's been fun!
I have Places to go, people to see, Tune in tomorrow on American Idol Extra! :D

http://www.foxreality.com/show.php?id=3530

Posted by: Wasn'tThisSpecial | March 12, 2008 1:50 AM

Constantine - by far the best. No one can compare. And he's even better in person, with his charisma.

Posted by: Laura S. | March 12, 2008 9:41 AM

Did anyone notice that Constantine didn't even know the words? His emotion was acting, not musicianship. As much as I love Cohen, Cale's version is truly stirring.

Posted by: CohenFan | March 14, 2008 1:55 PM

Your poll is a travesty. It leaves off the best version of "Hallelujah" I have ever heard--by Brandi Carlile. In my opinion, only she should be allowed to sing the song from now until she stops singing (heaven forbid!). Her take on the song is powerful yet also intimate and a fitting closer for her magical concerts.

Posted by: Rebecca | March 14, 2008 5:19 PM

1st it's not fair to put Leonard Cohen in this survey. It's his song. The question should be whose COVER is the best. I'm a fan of both Jeff Buckley and Rufus Wainwright but to be honest the 1st time I heard Wainright's cover I thought it WAS Jeff Buckley's version. So same-same as far as I'm concerned. Even if you don't take into account the beautiful string arrangement in Cale's version he still nails it. Cale #1. If consantine was just some guy singing on at a bar on karoake night I'd be impressed but as an artist? meh..

Posted by: jafou | March 19, 2008 12:44 AM

love Cales version. it is number one. don't like the costantine version at all. buckley is good. much credit goes to cohen for without him, there wouldn't be such beauty.

Posted by: dread | March 20, 2008 10:57 AM

Constantine's fans and anti-fans are all losers with nothing better to do then talk about someone of no importance. Get a life, his career is over.

Posted by: Play Misty for me | April 6, 2008 4:05 PM

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