The phrase “does what it says on the tin” makes my skin crawl. It’s used by people who can’t write (and arseholes like David Cameron, but its Christmas, so I’ll leave that) but, frankly, listening to the four tracks here, you try and find a better way of putting it.
This is billed as “Collateral Frontman Angelo Tristan’s ‘Acoustic Lockdown Covers EP’ and that’s basically all you need to know. It’s the type of record that only really works in 2020, because 2020 needs this type of thing. It needs something to give you a glow, something easy, familiar and comforting.
All those words apply here, because I am willing to guess right now that if you sat and asked Angelo Tristan his favourite bands, then the first three of the covers would be top of the list.
“Dream On” is typical of what he does, here. Look he’s not going for the deep cuts, he’s not going for cutting edge, avante garde. He’s appealing to his base.
There isn’t anyone listening to this that hasn’t got these songs in their collection. Even if – like me – you aren’t the biggest fan of the album itself, you know “Hysteria” (and to be fair, it would have benefitted from being this stripped down on the Leps version too).
“Livin’ On A Prayer” is an interesting one. Tristan could never hide is love for Jovi any more than I could, and this song has huge sentimental value for me. The version he does here is more akin to the one that Jovi did on the b-side to “Always” (I think?) or the one on “This Left Feels Right”. Look, its one of the iconic songs of my generation and it sounds cool here.
I know I’ll be in a minority of one, and I am prepared to run and hide after I type this, but I don’t care for “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (or Jeff Buckley) that all being said, I know everyone else does, so fair enough, and goodness me, Tristan has the talent to pull it off.
When this EP was announced last week, Angelo said something telling. All he wanted to do, he explained, was give his fans a pleasant diversion for 20 minutes or so.
He’s done that, but this is better than that too.