ALBUM : COVERED IN SOUL
ARTIST : ANGIE STONE
GENRE : R AND B / SOUL
DATE RELEASED : 2016
Her 2015 album called “Dream” was hailed by critics as very personal but not redundant and offers solid tracks on empowerment. With that, there is a lot of expectations for hardcore fans for Ms. Angie Stone to top this album which hit number 3 on Billboard 200 Album charts. In this album, she steered away from original music instead produced this time a compilation of songs that probably influenced her musical style or prove that the songs can still be reinvented and make it as her own. Let’s review the album track by track first before we render final judgment if this is an excellent follow up to her 2015 album and find out if she is successful in her motive of reinventing the tracks in here.
- These Eyes – originally performed by The Guess Who. She put latin flavor on this song and one can even dance the cha-cha while listening to this track.
Watch and sing in lyric video of “These Eyes” in here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bAHkvaZQv5o
- Smiling Faces – first performed by The Undisputed Truth. In this track, she made it subtly hers and at the same put a vibe that is ala The Fugee’s.
- In The Air Tonight – Phil Collins delighted his fans with the drum heavy track in the eighties. Yes, the musical arrangement is still there yet her version feels like an original song probably because of the soul treatment of this 80’s ballad. Instead of heavy drum sounds, you hear a bongo giving the bass sound in this version.
- I Believe (When I Fall In Love, It Will Be Forever) – Stevie Wonder was wonderful in his own version. Unfortunately, you could not say the same thing with her cover version; very uninspired.
Watch and sing with lyric video of “I Believe (When I Fall In Love, It Will Be Forever) in here
- O-O-OH Child – first performed by Five Stairsteps and there is that feeling that she had a misstep in this track. It’s too pop and felt like out of place in this compilation of soul covered version of hers.
- Every 1st A Winner – A Hot Chocolate original song and it is a usual fare of disco and rock fusion. Because this is an Errol Brown song, thus, you can say that it has more or less the same musical elements or vibe with his own song “This Time I Know It’s Forever.”
Watch and sing with “Every 1st A Winner” in this lyric video.
- Red Red Wine-a Neil Diamond staple and covered by UB40. It’s quite aweful as her version just replicated UB40’s and we know she can do better than that. Really, it’s quite unimaginative for her.
- Is This Love – a Bob Marley anthem. Her version started like a disco intro but she chose to do it full reggae. It’s a competent version but not as charming as the original.
- It’s Too Late – perhaps she knew that it is quite difficult to reinvent this song as Carole King’s version was quite powerful. It was correct for her to remain loyal to the original just input some musical instruments to make it better and somehow sound different from the original. The heavy drum sound made this version quite seductive though and really complemented her sultry vocal rendition in this track.
Although, there were 12 songs in this album, I choose to review only these 9 songs as the remaining three are Angie Stone original. So, there is no point of comparison as these were all included in her other previous albums.
The judgment is that she was moderately successful in doing covers of the tracks but somehow, she failed a step or two when she chose to stay loyal to the original recording. However, staying loyal to a cover version already is a huge failure for her. With that, I rate this album 3.5 stars as despite that huge misstep, still the whole album bears the mark of Angie Stone own brand of soulful rendition.
1 stars = Ignore it
2 stars = risk it
3 stars = borrow or buy it
4 stars = buy it and keep it
5 stars = buy, keep, and treasure it