Tell Me Something

Paul D'Adamo

Independent release, 2010

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Well, this is an odd one.

Singer Paul D’Adamo is an avowed Genesis fan, and in 2007, he decided to recruit some of the sidemen that had played on the band’s solo albums. This includes live stalwarts Daryl Steurmer and Chester Thompson, of course, as well as most of Phil Collins’ studio hands.

Tell Me Something, was three years in the making because of D’Adamo’s health and marriage concerns, but he was able to get it together to finish these 10 tracks. The resulting album is split between his original songs and Genesis covers, which is not only an odd conceit but results in a somewhat disjointed listen.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

D’Adamo writes songs that are light funk/jazz pop, with a touch of solo Phil Collins, with the finished product sounding like it came right out of 1988 (songwriting-wise, anyway). To fit this profile, three of the four Genesis covers are from the ‘80s, two from Duke and one from Abacab, but the covers are odd: “Guide Vocal,” “Like It Or Not,” and “Please Don’t Ask,” which were nothing more than standard filler tracks on their respective albums.

To his credit, D’Adamo sings with authority, and the band adds muscle to the wimpy sound of the originals, so they at least sound good. But they weren’t great songs to begin with, and the originals are not that great either; “Tell Me Something” is decent funk, but “Miss You” is forgettable and the faux-reggae of “Woman Like You” is just bland. “Constant Change,” by Jose Mari Chan, sounds like a knockoff of Barry Manilow’s “Looks Like We Made It.”

The remaining songs are the best, the first of which is Collins’ “Long Long Way To Go,” to which D’Adamo adds intensity and Alan Burton adds some good saxophone. The second is a stunning cover of the Genesis song “Entangled,” which slows the tempo slightly and ramps up the bass of the original. This would be good enough, but Burton’s sax and Stuermer’s electric guitar runs add depth to an already beautiful song. No less than former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett praised this one, and he played on the original. It is a masterwork in its own right and a template for how covers should be approached.

Too bad the rest of the disc doesn’t live up to that example. D’Adamo probably had a good time singing the songs of his musical heroes and working with their sidemen, but the next time out he deserves his own material and, hopefully, will find his own songwriting voice to match his singing voice.

Rating: C-

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