Two of England’s hottest male singers turned to covers this week: Sam Smith tackled Tracy Chapman’s classic, “Fast Car,” for BBC Live Lounge, while Ed Sheehan covered his buddies in Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars.”

While Smith’s clear, gorgeous tenor would seem perfect for Chapman’s heartbreaking song of escape, it ends up being a not great fit. That’s not because his voice doesn’t sound strong, it’s because he doesn’t imbue the song with any of the heartbreaking emotion from the original.

Sheeran succeeds far better  covering "Chasing Cars."  His tackling the song is nothing new. He's been doing it for at least a few years since he's such good pals with the dudes in Snow Patrol and has written with them and toured with them, but he unveiled a new solo acoustic version for MTV that went online today that's lovely and spare and very romantic.


Which do you like better? 

Melinda Newman is the former West Coast Bureau Chief for Billboard Magazine with more than 15 years of music industry experience. She also covers entertainment for The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Variety, MSN, AOL and other outlets.