We've heard this one in the office quite a bit, and it has become a personal favourite of mine. Jono McCleery's voice is truly brilliant. He sings with so much soul and genuine passion. It's raw and it's beautiful. Available on vinyl LP and CD and both have been released on Counter Records. Trust me. It's a good 'un.
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You don't even need to know the original versions of these songs to appreciate how good they are on this record. I'm being deadly serious, this is so good and I wish I could sing like he can. I can't sing - I've only just about mastered the art of talking to tell the truth - but Jono McCleery certainly can.
We start with Gabriel by Roy Davis Jr, Brand New Start by Paul Weller and Know Who You Are At Every Age by the Cocteau Twins. All three songs are not only a great start to any record, but the way McCleery presents his versions of these tracks is brilliant. They're soulful and soothing. You have to remember that the majority of the tracks on this album are fronting by the acoustic guitar with the occasional use of strings or some piano. Know Who You Are At Every Age is a great song anyway, but, for me, this cover is up there with the original. The lyrics are catch enough as it is, but McCleery manages to make them even more catchy. Punchy vocal patterns and rhythmic pairings of strings and his guitar make the track even more catchy. Great stuff.
Tracks four, five and six (Dinner At Eight - Rufus Wainwright/Morning Theft - Jeff Buckley/Ingenue - Atoms For Peace) are much more mellow and relaxed when compared to the start of Seeds Of A Dandelion. Still great, and still classics. But I'm always up for more of a sing-along than what these tracks can give me. But of course, maybe when I'm in a chilled out mood, I'll want to listen to these three tracks over any of the others on the record? Who knows.
Billie Holiday with God Bless The Child is next. Not one of my favourites. But I shouldn't discriminate against the rest for one song that I don't like. It's an ultra popular song - and I understand that - but it just isn't for me. Following on is a track by Beyoncé which is such a good idea. Who would've put acoustic covers of Billie Holiday and Beyoncé next to each other? Genius! Tracks nine, ten and eleven are from Scott Walker, Nina Simone and Brendan Perry. And to finish this brilliant collection of covers off is La Ritournelle by Sébastien Tellier - which McCleery covers excellently by the way.
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- Seeds Of A Dandelion by Jono McCleery
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