Lilian Min
October 09, 2015 6:35 am

With a discography of untouchable R&B hits like “Ride,” “Goodies,” and “Body Party,” Ciara is clearly a master of atmospheric music. So while it may seem like an out-of-left-field appointment, it’s not surprising that she’s able to successfully cover one of rock’n’roll’s bleakest songs: The Rolling Stones’ “Paint It Black.”

The cover, which appears on the soundtrack for Vin Diesel’s upcoming fantasy thriller The Last Witch Hunter, takes the Stones’ legendary track and drips it in a vaguely gothic horror. The result is something colder and more vindictive than the original tune — Ciara is known for her body-bending dancing, but in the promo art for her version of “Paint It Black,” she channels another R&B princess (Aaliyah in Queen of the Damned), but with the stone cold gaze of a woman scorned.

As for the song itself? It beats with an undulating pulse, bringing the gloom of the lyrics into “torch song” territory. That iconic guitar line is still there, but everything’s slowed down and spaced out, so Ciara sounds like she’s singing from behind a glass wall (in a good way). The new industrial-skewing production adds an epic undertone; when the background vocal chants kick in right before the three-minute mark, they’ll raise the hairs on your arms.

We’re not sure why the team behind the Last Witch Hunter soundtrack chose this particular track and Ciara to cover it, but this sonic collaboration is perfect for blasting with the curtains drawn, candles tastefully strewn around your dark castle while wearing your best floor-length black velvet gown. (What, you don’t have one?) What we’re saying is: This rocks, and make sure you play it with the bass bumped up:

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Cover songs that may be even better than the original

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