Not a huge cover albums fan, I was very apprehensive on this release. I do like cover songs, you know, maybe throwing one on an album, but not a whole album. Cover albums can be very hit or miss. The band either interrupts the songs in to their own sound or they copy it exactly adding nothing special and that is always my fear.
The Poodles decided to do a covers album for their 7th studio album and all though I am a huge fan of the band, this worried me greatly. But being a fan, a did give it a spin. The good news is the band took an approach of picking songs from artist that are not in their specific genre of glam metal and they definitely achieved that goal. The album title ‘Prisma’, I can only assume was picked to signify the songs would be looked at from different angles or viewpoints and they would add their own color to them. And was that achieved? Well, let’s discuss that and find out.
The opening track of the album sounds like pure, classic Poodle. The song is “Crazy Horses” by the Osmond Brothers from 1972. Yes, I said that right…the Osmond Brothers. Now that is definitely going outside your genre. The song is cranked up much heavier and would fit perfectly on any Poodles’ album. What helps is that I am not real familiar with this song so I have no preconceived notions of what this song should sound like. Their first choice is making me think this might be a great covers album.
The next song, however, I am very familiar with. It is “Maniac” by Michael Sembello and was from the ‘Flashdance’ soundtrack. I know what this song sounds like and I do have a preconceived notion of what I think it should sound like. They keep a lot of that sound, but they take into the Poodles sound and rock it out. I could sing along with this one right out of the gate and I loved every note. Jakob Samuel can sing and he tears this one up. This was a fun one and now I was getting excited. Would that excitement hold up?
Yes!! “Love is Gone” is up next and this one is a cover of the David Guetta song. Great, an electronica song by a famous DJ (I said that sarcastically BTW). The Poodles start it off with the familiar piano sound and then turn it up a notch and make it a great rocker. The guitar work by Henrik Bergqvist is incredible and the double bass drum work by Christian Lundqvist is the kick in the ass this song needed. Another keeper.
The band jumps to the 90’s with the cover of Depeche Mode’s hit “It’s No Good”. The take the song and bring in to the 21st Century. The take a song by a band that usually has depressing songs and beefs it up into a modern rock song rather than new wave, synth pop.
“Don’t Worry Child” is the next cover. This one is originally done by Swedish House Mafia. The song reached #6 on the US charts in 2012 and was a massive worldwide hit. They take this House Music/Electronica type song and do what they have been doing so well so far and turning into heavier rock song and this one becomes a great power ballad.
The first misstep for me comes with the Elton John cover of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”. They don’t really offer anything new to the song and although they do a solid version, it is a hard song to make your own as the original is so recognizably Elton. It leads a little Karaoke for that, I am not a fan of this one.
They redeem themselves with a song that is so recognizable for the band Blondie, “Call Me”. Surprisingly, the heavier sound and amazing vocals by Jakob really kick this up a notch and turn it in to another Poodles sounding song with some amazing guitar work. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this one as I thought it would wind up like the previous song. It also had a nice touch of having a female come in during the song and with her angelic voice sing some parts that are so high I don’t think Jakob could hit them.
“Go You Own Way” was originally by Fleetwood Mac and this is the second song that doesn’t work for me either. They did make it heavier, but it falls flat in the end. It sounded too Pop and not heavy enough to feel like a Poodles song. Plus, it is one of those songs if I want to listen to it, I really want the Fleetwood Mac version.
I give Jakob and the band some credit for this next one. They actually try to tackle an Adele song. The chose to cover “Set Fire to the Rain” and Wow!!, did they really bring it on this one. They kept true to the style of the original and added more power to the music and I was stunned that I like it…I liked it a lot!! They turned it in to a power ballad with a lot of heart (at least in my opinion).
Now the last song on the album was by a metal band that you might have heard of called Deep Purple. They did a very respectable rendition of “Soldiers of Fortune”. With this one they did not try to convert it to a Poodles song and they kept to the original song with the acoustic guitars and the addition of the string instruments. I mentioned earlier that I don’t usually like when a band does that, but I forgive on this one. Why? Because it was nice hearing them play in a completely different style. It showed me they could do more than their Glam roots. It isn’t my favorite song on the album, but it is one of the better ones. A very nice way to end the album.
1. Crazy Horses – The Osmond Brothers – Keeper
2. Maniac – Michael Sembello (From Flashdance) – Keeper
3. Love Is Gone – David Guetta, Chris Willis – Keeper
4. It’s No Good – Depeche Mode – Keeper
5. Don’t You Worry Child – Swedish House Mafia – Keeper
6. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road – Elton John – Delete
7. Call Me – Blondie – Keeper
8. Go Your Own Way – Fleetwood Mac – Delete
9. Set Fire to the Rain – Adele – Keeper
10. Soldiers of Fortune – Deep Purple – Keeper
8 keepers out 10 songs – 80% (4.0 out 5.0 stars) I have to say this was a surprisingly great album for me. I don’t normally dig the cover albums, but they made it fun and picked several songs that I wasn’t overly familiar with and so their versions worked for me. The key to the success was the made the songs mostly sound like they were originally done by the band and would fit on any of their albums. That can be hard to pull off, but they did it. I am a little biased as I do love this band and I will take any kind of music I can get from them and even though it was a covers album, it is the Poodles and it is nothing short of great!