With an artist as mercurial (and as historically Internet-hostile) as Prince, this is a significant development, though it’s worth asking if the new material is any good. The answer is a qualified yes…
But the song was suddenly rehabilitated when, over the weekend, a video of a singer named Carrie Manolakos singing “Creep” at small concert in New York went viral.
Manolakos, whose background is in musical theatre, performs the song with perfect earnestness, closing her eyes and choking back tears. She floats lightly over the soft notes and reaches up to a stringent wail towards the middle of the song. She takes all the qualities that made “Creep” moving in 1992—what Nick Hornby, writing in this magazine in 2000, called the song’s “unnerving sincerity,” its “mournful anguish,” and “the brilliance of [its] conceit”—and repackages them in an old-fashioned night-club singer’s torch song.
Manolakos’s version does what covers ought to do; it picks up a song that has sunken into throwback territory, dusts it off, and treats it like a classic.