Title - 'Re:(disc)overed' (Red General)
Artist - Puddle of Mudd
On their latest album, Re:(disc)overed, hard rock mainstays Puddle of Mudd return with an album of covers. Ranging from the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin and many others, the album is waaaay better than I could have ever expected and deserves multiple listens too, trust me!
As you would expect, Re:(disc)overed is an entirely different kind of endeavor for the group, which has been churning out its own material since Wesley Scantlin formed the band nearly 20 years ago in Kansas City, MO.
The album kicks off with a rousing rendition of The Stones' 'Gimme Shelter,' and sure Scantlin's voice is no Mick Jagger, but then again, whose it?! 'Old Man' (Neil Young's 1972 hit) comes to the fore next and, amazingly; and for better or for worse, is virtually indistinguishable from the original!
AC/DC's 'T.N.T.' is next and it has to be said that much like the Free cover later on, Scantlin's vocals seem a most perfect musical fit. A cover of Tom Petty's 'Stop Draggin' My Heart Around' is spot on perfect, which surprised me. That said, and without Stevie Nicks on hand, POM went for the luscious tones of BC Jean (who wrote 'If I Were a Boy' for Beyonce) - and what a choice that was!
'The Joker,' from the Steve Miller Band is a mistake, plain and simple to try and cover. Same twanging guitar, somewhat similar vocal embodiment, but there is just something not right about it all. A storming 'Everybody Wants You' (Billy Squier) proves Scantlin is nobody's Squier, but it's good enough to make the grade.
Elton John's 'Rocket Man' was a track that before I even got to it I was deeply worried about hearing! I love, love EJ's music, have done for 25 years and so to prepare myself to hear POM tackled one of his classics was causing my heart to pound - literally! And, sadly I was right to worry - it is horrible! Just bloody horrible! Nuff said!
However, Free's powerhaus hit, 'All Right Now' is brought to the fore in splendid fashion here. More than just a cover, it actually manages to revive and inspire itself too! A stand out track on this album, for sure, it has to be one of the first you tune into. Followed by 'Shooting Star' (Bad Company), a track that seems lighter in touch to the original, a cover of Led Zeppelin's 'D'yer Mak'er' isn't exceptional, a little weak in places, but fits here nonetheless. That said, a cover of the James Gang's 'Funk #49' is not strong, decent but nothing special and so (sadly) finishes the album on a low point, musically.