Jay Brannan - In Living Cover
If there's one thing you should know by now, it's that I LOVE cover songs. So when an artist gives us an entire ALBUM of cover songs we are so excited we can hardly control our bodily functions.
The latest installment in our collection is the new album from NYC-based singer/songwriter Jay Brannan. His album, In Living Cover, consists of seven cover songs and two Brannan originals.
Brannan's treatment of his chosen material is seems fairly simple. He takes the original tunes and turns them into acoustic-based numbers. Sung in his hushed, patient vocal style it works well with the general folk-bent of the originals.
There are a few twists and turns Brannan has thrown in to take these songs from a novelty to a solid album. I have to admit I audibly groaned when I saw "Blowin' In the Wind" on the track list. We've heard that song so often it's really a bore at this point. Brannan breathes new life into this dusty old track with the simple addition of a unique percussion. Ani Difranco's "Both Hands" is enhanced by the inclusion of a lovely vocal round. Piano is the focal point of his stripped-down cover of The Verve Pipe's quintessential '90s song "The Freshman".
It appears that Brannan has a thing for Canadian female songwriters as well. How else would you explain the inclusion of Jann Arden's "Good Mother" and a Joni Mitchell number among the honoured.
The standout track on the album isn't a cover at all. The Brannan-penned "Beautifully" is a well-crafted anti-love song featuring some of the best lyrics I've heard all year ('It's not that you're not beautiful, you're just not beautiful to me').
Well In Living Cover is definitely beautiful to me.
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