As I have said repeatedly, cover albums are not my favorite albums as usually they lack the imagination and creativity to make them feel like it is the band’s songs. They stick too much to the original and who wants that. If I want to hear something that sounds like the original song, I will listen to the original song.
I will keep an open mind with this review and do my best to do it justice. Halestorm is now on their 3rd edition of their Reanimate the Covers E.P.’s. I give the band credit for giving their fans something to tide them over until their next album. As a music fan, it is nice to always get something new from your favorite bands even if it is a cover song. However, Halestorm does a lot of covers.
After listening to the album repeatedly for the last few days, I feel I have a great grasp of the songs and can say that I am not overly impressed with the E.P. as a whole. The band sticks pretty close to the original versions which is where my disappointment lies on most of the songs, but overall it is not a bad effort. I would rather have a full album of new material though.
The opening track is “Still of the Night”, a Whitensake cover. I have to admit I do like this song. Yes, they stick close to the original version, but the vocal range is actually perfect for Lzzy and the band sounds really great. What I like about Halestorm is that when they really rock it out, that is where they shine. This song really gives them the opportunity to rock out.
“Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” by Sophie B. Hawkins was their next cover. A little unexpected cover, but it holds it’s own. Being a song sung by a woman, Lzzy has no problem. It is not my favorite song on the album, but I think it is such an unusual choice I think that is why I liked it even if it doesn’t stray from the original version.
Joan Jett’s “I Hate Myself For Loving You” was their next choice for a cover and Lzzy owes a lot to this pioneer in rock. I am sure Joan Jett was a big influence on her growing up. This is one song that although the band sounds great, the song for me is too iconic with Joan Jett and that makes it fall flat for me. This is one of those songs that if you cover it, you need to change it up and make it more your own. It sounds too much like the original and it makes me just want to listen to Joan Jett & the Blackhearts…which I am now doing as write this part of the post.
“Heathens”, a Twenty-One Pilots cover, was the song I was most interested in hearing when I saw the track listing. The original version by Twenty-One Pilots is so creepy and dark which is all part of the charm of the song. It was one of my favorite songs of 2016. The Halestorm version has none of the eerie overtones of the original and for that it is sorely lacking as a good cover. There is no creativity in their version at all and must be deleted.
A cover of Soundgarden’s “Fell on Black Days” was up next. I didn’t know what to expect, but this wasn’t what I was hoping to hear. She tried to sing it like Chris Cornell, but how do you do that or why would you want to. His style and sound is so unique that any attempt to mirror it just comes across as karaoke. I found it to be a boring rendition of the song and to highlight her vocal talents at all.
A Metallica cover…that is ambitious. For the final track, Halestorm covers “Ride the Lightning” by Metallica. I thought it was going to totally suck, but I actually enjoyed this one. The reason is the same as what I liked about “Still of the Night”. The band got to completely rock out and show off their talents. Lzzy’s vocals were good, but it was the band that shined for me on this song. At 2:46 into the song, they start going balls to the wall, full throttle which is why I really liked this version.
- Lzzy Hale
- AreJay Hale
- Joe Hottinger
- Josh Smith
Here is a rehash of the track listing and my ruling:
- “Still of the Night” (Whitesnake cover) – Keeper
- “Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover” (Sophie B. Hawkins cover) – Keeper
- “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (Joan Jett & the Blackhearts cover)- Delete
- “Heathens” (Twenty-One Pilots cover) – Delete
- “Fell On Black Days” (Soundgarden cover) – Delete
- “Ride the Lightning” (Metallica cover) – Keeper
3 keepers out 6 songs – 50% (2.5 out 5 stars). For a diehard fan, this is a must buy. A casual fan, however, should stream the album and then go buy the songs you like. I wouldn’t recommend purchasing the whole thing. I like the concept of E.P.’s being released between albums, but a little more originality to them would be great. I am sure they find it a quick and easy solution to getting something out, but quick and easy is not the way to go.