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Babybird

Covers (Bandcamp)

By • Jul 19th, 2021 • Category: Album review

Another release from Stephen Jones, whose ridiculous output rate shows no signs of abating any time soon.

This covers album is heavy on Joy Division/New Order (no bad thing) but also has a wide variety of other tracks…

It is a brave artist who will just launch into a JD cover but he is that man, starting with ‘Atmosphere’, which he tackles in a dignified way, and actually his voice really suits the track – he does not attempt to replicate it note for note but instead creates great washes of synth and guitar which are his own.

‘I Want You’ is labelled as the next track but it is in fact ‘Just Like A Woman’ from the same epochal 1966 album ‘Blonde on Blonde’ – again BB adds his own stamp to it, very interesting indeed…

Next up is ‘Wrecking Ball’ (Miley Cyrus) which BM is not that familiar with, but again it suits BB’s voice and is quite minimal in the musical backdrop.

Far more interesting is the cover of The LAs’ ‘There She Goes Again’, which keeps in some guitar but is heavy on the keyboards and changes the pronoun several times, “she”, “he”, who is going where? Given the supposed drug-related theme, it is hard to know what the interpretation is trying to do but it sounds great.

Stephen does get the guitar out for another Dylan cover, ‘Don’t Think Twice’ – very subtle and poignant – it is a song which transcends the decades and covered by so many, so this classy cover is just the job.

The techno beats abound next, a new take on ‘Isolation’, a classic Joy Division track, and this is probably the best of the reinterpretations on this album – New Order have, BM thinks, done this live in recent years, but this is a great cover.

The next few (covers of Beach Boys, Sonny and Cher, Neil Young) are okay but simply add the trademark Jones vocals and instrumentation to the originals – not bad but not groundbreaking…

Things come alive again with a cover of late JD / early New Order track ‘Ceremony’, again the BB vocals really suit the track and there’s a wee bit drum and bass laid over the track, probably something NO were only working on back in 1981 or so…

Last but one track sees BB cover Joy Division classic ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ and he does deconstruct the song and put his own mark on it – this is a true cover version, taking the original and retooling it in his own style, and it is worth it – probably best cover on this album.

Last track is the Velvets’ ‘Pale Blue Eyes’, covered by everyone and his dog, and this is a decent effort – nothing extraordinary but worth a listen, and again reconfirming the song as a modern classic.

So overall a not half bad covers album, with a few diamonds in the dirt, as it were…

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