Coverlings, by NY-based Renee Cologne is a remarkable full-length LP of covers done her own way without changing them beyond recognition, and the result is nothing short of masterful. The songs are all updated but faithfully covered by Cologne with the utmost care and integrity to the originals, whilst providing a breath of fresh air to each of these well- crafted reworks. After debuting with her CD, Aromatherapy under her own label Backdoor Records, this her fourth release to date takes you on a contrasting but very positive and uplifting journey with reworks of classics by everyone from The Carpenters to Fleetwood Mac, with a vibrantly engineered sound mix and overall sonic quality.
The album kicks off with the most excellent cover “Jersey Girl” by Tom Waits, and it’s a very bold way to start the set, turning in a surprise choice if there ever was one. It’s a very luscious delivery, but then so are the rest of the tracks. It’s just very cool to hear her sing this, as opposed to the original, which to give my opinion about this could even be an upgrade as much as it is an updated version. It doesn’t even matter that the song is originally about Waits’ bride before they married, Cologne does justice to it either way.
“Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac is up next, and it might seem like not much of a stretch for Cologne, but it’s somehow done with so much of her own signature that it almost seems like a vital choice to include on the album. This is fantastic, make no mistake about it whatsoever, the song thrives like never-before and that is a very tall order. To follow it by The Carpenters “Yesterday Once More” is slightly less inspiring but still a great choice to help hang a hook on a long-lost hit, in fact I had forgotten all about the original so it’s a reminder as well as an update and you simply can’t ask more from Cologne.
Frankie Vali’s 1967 hit “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” is a haunting rendition worth hearing for her ghostly vocal performance in more of a ballad style version before it kicks up with some fabulous musical arranging. “I Believe” by Stevie Wonder and Yvonne Wright is another astonishing choice and she pulled it off with flying colors. This is another version that is a must hear because of what she did with it, which marks the highest selling point of the album.
“Let It Be” is another bold choice because of what she did with it, and just like with many tracks on the disc, it comes to life at one point or another and adds a strong burst of energy to the memory of the original. Other great versions on the album can be found on “Walk Away Renee” which I find to be a clever choice concerning her first name. But even more notable are “Up The Junction” and the also cleverly selected “Wichita Lineman” by Glen Campbell, leaving no stones unturned on this killer collection by the world class singer.
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