(03 July 2006) The stunning seventeen track various artist compilation, Covered (Op(iii) (USA), 2006), has been issued by October Project to help finance the band's next full album. This tremendous album includes sixteen tracks by artists covering the songs of Emil Adler and Julie Flanders. Many favorite October Project classics are included--some are performed true to the original incarnation while others vary off the mark significantly. October Project provide the track "Always A Place" as the bonus and seventeenth track. We'll comment on the uniqueness of each of the songs below.
The album opens with Julian Coryell's rendition of "Adam & Eve." Arranged similarly to the OP original, the track features Julian's male vocal in contrast to OP's female texture, but it works real well. Joy Askew's version of "If I Could" is dramatically different with her evocative vocal rising atop light electronic instrumentation.
The first of the album's standouts is Sylvia Tosun's unique treatment of "Wall Of Silence," vastly rearranged as contrasted to the original. The orchestral instrumental washes provide a foundation for Sylvia's searching and airy vocal. As expected by Sylvia's fans and Musical Discoveries visitors, percussion and richer guitar and bass instrumentals add texture to the material as the track develops. Laura Berman, also reviewed here at Musical Discoveries presents a lovely interpretation of the classic "Deep As You Go," arranged similarly to the OP classic. Berman's sensually delivered vocals perfectly suit the band's hit song.
Richard Barone recorded a lovely electronic- and acoustic guitar-based version of "One Dream," and his multi-layered vocals work well with this alternative interpretation of the track. The keyboard washes work exceptionally well. Gabrielle (Gerwitz) presents a light version of "The Mind's Eye," carried primarily by her sensually sweet vocal delivery. Acoustic guitar perfectly underscores the lyrical passages in the song.
Another album standout is Amelia Dream's powerful rendition of the October Project hit "Be My Hero." Amelia's vocal delivery is as powerful as OP's original recording and her range perfectly suits the arrangement. Vocal harmonies in the chorus add tremendous October Project flavors. A dramatic guitar solo, reminscent of OP's live performances inserted during the instrumental mid-section is fantastically performed. Swanky Hotel have recorded a lovely version of "Reason To Forgive." Francene Wheeler's soprano works well in this folky alternative to the original the song.
The Feathermerchants recorded a tremendous cover of OP's hit "Where You Are." While Shannon Kennedy's airy voice works well in the verse, she clearly soars with the best of them in the choruses atop broad guitar excursions in the powerful instrumental arrangements. The guitar solo in the song's mid-section is just tremendous. With one standout after another, the album proceeds to the a capella version of "Bury My Lovely" by Lisa Piccirillo & The Skidmore Dynamics. This stunning choral arrangement of the huge OP hit will produce chills in the most immune listener!
Alice Ripley's evocative version of "Ariel" from the motion picturer The Adulterer (2000) performed with Jesse Harris on acoustic guitar is another excellent OP cover. The bluegrass-tinged version of "Johnny" is powerfully delivered by Allison Cornell, whose powerful fast-paced solo voice perfectly reproduces the lyrical message. Harmonytryx--Jodelle Boorady, Erica Cohn, Callie Hershey, Chris Krupka, Angela Marcone and Jennifer Staff--deliver a lovely capella, complete with percussive vocalisations, version of "Sunday Morning Yellow Sky." The track is a certain standout.
Gregory Douglass' evocatively delivered male vocal interpretation of "A Lonely Voice" is backed by Emil Adler on piano. Harmonies provided by OP's Marina Belica and Julie Flanders add to Martha Colby's cello work to produce a lovely texture in this live-to-disc recording essentially by Douglass and the OP lineup. Listeners will be enthralled with the rich Celtic-influenced and emotional interpretation of "Return To Me" by Frederik Doci and OP alumni Urbano Sanchez, Martha Colby and tender layers of backing vocals by Sylvia Tosun. It is clearly the most richly arranged number on this album.
The unique and gentle almost Japanese-flavored instrumental by Pete Dringle of "Something More Than This" draws little similarity to the original number but serves as an excellent conclusion to the various artist portion of the album. October Project concludes Covered with a 1999 recording of "Always A Place" featuring Marina Belica soaring on lead vocals self-backed and joined by Julie Flanders for spoken word. Acoustic percussion and keyboard complete the rich arrangement. It is a stunning conclusion to a tremendous and value-packed alblum. Obtain your copy via October Project's website.