Angels Castles Coversby Vance Gilbert
A cover of a well-known song often serves as a good introduction to a lesser-known artist, and that is no less true of the opening cut on Vance Gilbert's new album, Angels Castles Covers. "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing" opens an album that's mostly filled with pop and R&B covers, delivered in Gilbert's soulful, smooth vocal style and backed by light accompaniment. Indeed, one might think of Gilbert's approach as soul lite, an approach that's easy on the ears and that commingles easily on cuts like "Rainy Night in Georgia," "I'm So Tired of Being Alone," and "Save the Last Dance for Me." The most daunting thing here is that it's inevitable, since these songs are so well-known that they'll be compared to the originals. And while Gilbert himself is bound to know that matching masters like Marvin Gaye is an unenviable, thankless task, he acquits himself well. Gilbert's light soul approach seems less suited, however, for Joni Mitchell's folky "A Case of You" and Jimi Hendrix's rock ballad "Castles Made of Sand." Be that as it may, one of the exciting things about covering other artists' songs is that they can be reinterpreted in a new way for a new audience, and Gilbert's fans will find these interpretations a pleasing extension of his music.
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