Renee Cologne’s new CD - Coverlings, is a brilliant snapshot of an artists’ favorite variety of songs done her own specials ways, inspired by her upbringing because of her father’s vast taste in music she would hear him play as a kid, which included everything from Portuguese Fado songs to Loretta Lynn to Stevie Wonder. Cologne herself has been around, and that includes touring with Meatloaf, she’s well-seasoned as this is her fourth release to date under her own label, Backdoor Records, after her first independent outing on - Aromatherapy. The result is magnificent with extraordinary covers that must be heard by the masses, because they’re not straight run throughs of songs chosen.
This is an all-out successful effort to reinvent some old stuff in a wonderful new way, which is really-just Cologne’s unique approach to each song without losing faith to the songs or the writers. It’s never an easy thing to do, in fact it’s usually the opposite because there’s usually low risk in recording safe versions. Not a problem for Cologne as she makes it sound so easy, yet she gets as far form the original arrangements as it gets on some of the tracks. Right away she proves to mean such business on “Jersey Girl” by transforming the song into a completely but equally great number.
With very little fuss and a lot of finesse, she rocks a tune with the best of ‘em, and it keeps going on “Landslide” with a less energetic but once again a completely transformed version of the song, and I believe Stevie Nicks and CO would be proud if they heard it with all due respect. I also believe that song could go either way if not careful with it, since it doesn’t have any peaks and valleys. But Cologne places them where needed to make a stark difference without changing tempos beyond recognition. The same can be said for her take on “Yesterday Once More” by The Carpenters, adding a certain kind of new spark to an oldie but a goodie.
“Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” is one of the more-or less to be expected in the track list, but what Cologne does with it is another story. It’s so good it should be considered for a single but could also get lost on the people as well. You never know, but this is still undeniably awesome no matter how you slice it there’s a massive elegance to it and the musical backing is epic. “Messy Girl” is fun to hear, even though I was unfamiliar with the original song, I am now aware of it so there’s plenty of good reason to do a project like this.
Answering back with “I Believe,” there is simply no looking back. You don’t get this much sophistication anymore, it matches the magic of the originals that way. “The Walking (and Constantly)” is another pleaser whether you already know the song or not, so you get something new here with every track you haven’t already heard somewhere else. And you even get an exceptional Beatles cover, with Cologne paying homage in her own unique way in which the whole CD is so good for, right down to “Wichita Lineman” and the every so delicate closing excellence of “Puppet.” Top marks to Cologne and all involved.