Cover Story

Love Canon

Organic Records, 2018

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


Much like the album title implies, Love Canon reworks nine classic tunes here in their version of rootsy acoustic rock, where all fiive members sing and instruments like stand-up bass, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo put a fun spin on some timeless hits.

I'd say a good covers album should start out with a Billy Joel tune, and Love Canon does that here with a bluegrass, banjo interpretation of “Prelude (Angry Young Man)” as they bring the instrumental song out of the stadium and into the mountains. Howard Jones' hit “Things Can Only Get Better” follows and remains upbeat like the original, only with less pop and more roots rock, and yes, the high notes and 'woah ohs' are intact and sound great. The '80s nods continue with Mr. Mister's “Kyrie Eleison,” which might be the closest to the original here with the strong pop chorus, though of course Love Canon injects their Americana within. On Paul Simon's “Graceland,” they pick up the pace from the original with their fiddle acrobatics and barnyard dance party. The only duet on the album is “Islands In The Stream,” where trumpets and saxophones, make this a more animated version of the original.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The second half of the album is even better, especially with their take on Depeche Mode's “Enjoy The Silence,” which replace New Wave with orchestral strings and country-rock. They then add a warm, soulful spirit to “Solsbury Hill/Icecaps Of Pentatonia – Medley,” which pays to tribute to Peter Gabriel, and they tip their hats to Squeeze on the softer yet lush sounds of “Tempted.” The album exits on R.E.M.'s 1985 hit “Driver 8,” where Love Canon nearly doubles the original song length with jam band qualities that illustrate their incredibly crisp musicianship.

While I generally think of cover albums as fun to listen to once, maybe twice, the songs covered are from such a great era of music and are done so well, it really warrants repeated listens.

Rating: A-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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