A Loss For Words are an above average pop punk band. That is a rather general statement but, noting that i have listened to their previous work i can say alot of things. Going into this cover album i was somewhat excited yet skeptical. Very rarely does a cover album come out to be more than a fun yet passable album of your favorite bands favorite songs. Now this one certainly comes with a hitch. Rather than focusing on the bands that inspired them or got them into their sound AL4W rely on covering already classic motown songs (hence the album title).
We get covers of mostly the expected ( Lionel Richie, Jackson 5, The Supremes, etc.). Theres nothing outright wrong with their choice of songs, actually this seems to work somewhat to their advantage. While none of the songs are taken to be too much more than pop punk versions of their originals they ring with youthful fervor. The band throw in their bit of experimentation throughout the album. This includes a nice acoustic version of The Isley Brothers' classic "This Old Heart Of Mine". and getting their friends to guest playing horns or adding vocals. When this works for them they create something fun and rather exciting.
They take great measures in making these songs sound like their own. While this can't always work as we are trading genres and re-envisioning classics, they tend to work on their own level. It would be hard to not imagine a crowd helping on the many sing along parts or drive around bobbing one's head and singing along. These are the redeeming qualities of a cover album that is done well.
There is always a down side when it comes to albums like this. Unless you take them solely as the creation of the band doing the covers you are bound to be disappointed on some level. When the band run on all cylinders you can't help but get excited but, when they make missteps the songs sound trite at best. The best example is the song "Tears of A Clown". While the original is a wonderful showcase for the early talents of Smokey Robinson this version is bogged down with a sorry ear for dynamics and not the best use of the singers pipes. Noted, I don't expect him to be hitting falsettos or vibratos this would be a perfect time for him to take the lead as the band seems bored throughout the song.
Bottom line is that this is a very enjoyable album and a catchy and simple introduction for those unfamiliar with this band. While the bad parts are there The album on the whole is an enjoyable detour from the oh so serious crowd. While this could be pared down to a great EP or even short LP we get a overtly fun sing along of a covers album.
This is the perfect soundtrack to your next summer drive.
7.0 / 10
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Posted Feb. 11, 2011, 8:04 a.m.
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