Thursday, March 26, 2015

Indie Music: The True Groove All-Stars "Fully Re-Covered"

by Germar Derron

I sense two projects here, or projects from two different periods. That considered, the album flows well. But I do strongly prefer one project to the other. "Project A" sounds more modern (though not current); it features "Relax." "Project B" features a dated sound that likely stunts the potential of the project. 
Lael Summer
Covering songs is risky business. There is no right answer. If artists stick to the source, then maybe the cover was unnecessary. If artists drift too far from the original, fans won't be happy. But artists are also fans. We love to honor the music, bands, and artists that fuel us. I appreciate that the songs here are an eclectic mix and not necessarily Top 40 anthems. The featured artists, without apology, recorded their own interpretations; good.
Tomas Doncker
My only problem with the project concerns something that will make every musician groan. It's not "radio" enough. "Project B" especially sounds like the best musicians, in a serious jam session at the local bar, small amphitheater, or garage. I miss the hard compression, extreme EQ, effects, "sheen," and "polish." I believe you can hardcore crunch a track, while retaining dynamics, balance, and overall musicality. Maybe a remastered "Recovered" album is what I need. Whatever the arguments are--about genre, style, or preference--this is a sound that we've grown accustomed to for almost two decades. The talent shines, especially the instrumentalists, but this mix sounds like Stevie Wonder in the '80s. 

"Relax," featuring Heather Powell, is flawless. Glen Campbell's "Wichita Lineman," featuring Kevin Jenkins, is a surprise gem. "What's So Funny," as covered by the Tomás Doncker Band, recalls a sitcom theme from the late '80s through early '90s. I mean that as a compliment. Those songs remain etched in our memories for a reason--they're good. So producers take note. For the next Goldberg-like show, your theme song is ready. Let's get some artists paid. "Wires" is another strong addition from my hypothetical "Project A." 

This album adds nicely to the True Groove catalog, but a bit more Hollywood sparkle would go a long way.



  2. I accidentally deleted this comment from anonymous and my response:

    1) you cannot have 'hardcore compression' while 'maintaining dynamics'. This is oxymoronic. 2) Brickwall compression/limiting is starting to lose favor in many circles ( 3) I'm afraid you're stuck in the past...

    1. 1) yes you can; it's exactly why I said it--the Lord Algae's made a career of that--and I've done it personally; 2) and regardless of your other statements, the sound here is not good--are you an engineer for this project?


Social Compare