Reviewing cover songs can be a tricky thing. On one hand, the original can be so burned deep into our psyche it’s hard to imagine anything else comparable. And on the other hand, you are automatically comparing it to the original. You’re attempting to start from a unique point-of-view and our own biases seem to cloud a bit of our judgement. Having said that, hearing an instrumental version of the 2003 Howie Day pop rock song “Collide” is like an awakening. Performed by Steve Markoff (alto flute) and Patricia Lazzara (concert flute) and featuring Allison Brewster Franzetti (piano), “Collide” quickly sets itself apart from the original. I really was able to release myself and fall under their spell.
Diving into this song is a pleasure. The opening stanzas are piano-driven, giving the listener an ease with the melodic undertow. It reminds me of what the sound might be of the sun breaking into the bedroom in the morning light. It cascades slowly, only to be a brilliant eye-opening event. “Collide” without lyrics is just as mesmerizing as the original. I thought maybe the song would be more flute than piano but by the song’s end, it’s a tossup. Both instruments weigh heavily in the overall production, but I must say, they get equal billing. The flute parts, almost like a whisper at first, embody the vulnerability and honesty the song conveys. I like that the idea of colliding, two moving parts coming together, is expressed through two different flute instruments. They seem to bounce off each other, like dancing butterflies in a prairie field. One is higher, one chases the other and so on. The flutes take part letting out that sigh, that feeling of emotionally being both exhausted and exhilarated all-at-once. You can almost reach out and touch that emotion and hold onto the ethers the flute leaves behind in its wake.
The piano feels as though you’re always trying to catch it. It’s a fun game to chase those echoes and follow its path down the rabbit hole. Maybe that’s the point of “Collide”. Chasing for something and learning that sometimes things aren’t following the same path. It’s a miracle when things do come together. I think the piano communicates to the listener, too, that it’s a universal thing. There aren’t any boundaries and it feels as though it’s welcoming everyone to the table to participate.
“Collide” is from the trio’s upcoming June release. Markoff and Lazzara both call New Jersey home. Multiple Grammy-nominated Franzetti hails from New York City and studied at Juilliard. The instrumental “Collide” is a welcomed solace for the listener that needs to just calm down and focus on their life or get reconnected all-the-same. It feels like the timing is perfect to revisit a song like this. Markoff, Lazarra and Franzetti have given this song a new lease on life and revitalized it in a way that I never would have imagined. I’m humbled to be just one of their listeners. I think this will really open them up to a whole new breed of fans.
The music of Steve Markoff & Patricia Lazzara has been heard all over the world in partnership with the radio plugging services offered by Musik and Film Radio Promotions Division. Learn more https://musikandfilm.com
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