Under the Covers, Vol. 1

Under the Covers, Vol. 1

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by Matthew Sweet, Susanna Hoffs
     
 

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Given the ease with which these two singers have navigated the waters of '60s-based power pop, uniting them would seem as natural as pairing cake and ice cream -- and this lovingly crafted collection of cover tunes proves that in just about every dreamy note. Balancing the familiar and the obscure with a deft hand, the duo manage to capture the feel of the Summer of

Overview

Given the ease with which these two singers have navigated the waters of '60s-based power pop, uniting them would seem as natural as pairing cake and ice cream -- and this lovingly crafted collection of cover tunes proves that in just about every dreamy note. Balancing the familiar and the obscure with a deft hand, the duo manage to capture the feel of the Summer of Love -- give or take a year or two -- without overdosing listeners on undiluted nostalgia. They're at their best when trafficking in sugar and spice, as evidenced by a version of the Beatles' "And Your Bird Can Sing" that's nothing short of breathtaking in its crystalline tone. It's charming to hear them -- with a hand from Van Dyke Parks, who contributes a passel of bright-eyed arrangements -- tackle tunes like the Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun," but it's more involving when they unearth relative obscurities (like the Left Banke's "She May Call You Up Tonight") and shine them up for the delectation of modern ears. On occasion, they seem a bit out of sync -- Sweet's far more at home in the spiky confines of Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl" than is Hoffs, while the reverse is true on the Mamas & the Papas' "Monday Monday" -- but for the bulk of the disc, the pair perform like kindred spirits joined at the pleasure center. With company like this, Under the Covers is a very comfortable place to be.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs have always displayed an unapologetic love of '60s pop in their own music, and they even teamed up as part of the pop supergroup Ming Tea to record the terrific "BBC" for the first Austin Powers film, so the duo's 2006 album, Under the Covers, Vol. 1, feels logical and right. With this record, the two -- who have adopted the name "Sid N Susie," although this only appears on the inside of the CD's booklet and on their MySpace page -- tackle 15 classic pop and folk-rock tunes from the '60s (well, the Bee Gees' "Run to Me" is from 1971, but its heart is in the '60s). Their selections, a mix of familiar oldies and beloved cult classics, display exceptionally good taste: it's a mix of the Beatles ("And Your Bird Can Sing"), Bob Dylan ("It's All Over Now, Baby Blue"), the Beach Boys ("The Warmth of the Sun"), the Who ("The Kids Are Alright"), the Mamas & the Papas ("Monday, Monday"), and Neil Young ("Cinnamon Girl," "Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere"), plus Love ("Alone Again Or"), the Zombies ("Care of Cell #44"), the Velvet Underground ("Sunday Morning"), Fairport Convention ("Who Knows Where the Time Goes?"), the Stone Poneys ("Different Drum"), the Left Banke ("She May Call You Up Tonight"), and the Marmalade ("I See the Rain"). Not a bad song in the bunch, and the band -- a rotating lineup largely comprised of Sweet mainstays including drummer Ric Menck and guitarist Greg Leisz, plus guitarist Richard Lloyd and keyboardist Van Dyke Parks, both appear on a couple of tracks a piece -- relish playing songs that they clearly love, since they never reinterpret the songs, or even play around with the arrangements. The affection that Sweet, Hoffs and company display for this music is the reason to hear this record: they're having such a good time playing their favorite songs, it's hard not to smile along as well. And if that doesn't make for a major record, it certainly makes for a likeable one.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/18/2006
Label:
Shout Factory
UPC:
0826663976540
catalogNumber:
39765
Rank:
99717

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Matthew Sweet   Primary Artist
Susanna Hoffs   Primary Artist,Vocals,Hand Clapping
Van Dyke Parks   Organ,Piano,Harpsichord
Richard Lloyd   Guitar,Electric Guitar
Ivan Julian   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Greg Leisz   Pedal Steel Guitar,Electric Guitar,Guitar (12 String Electric)
Ric Menck   Bongos,Drums,Tambourine,Shaker
Michael Sweet   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Piano,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Harpsichord,Tambourine,Vocals,Xylophone,Hand Clapping,Mellotron,Dolceola
Joseph Harvey   Cello
Carey LaMothe   Trumpet,French Horn
Julie Pusch   Violin,Viola

Technical Credits

Steve Martin   Composer
Sandy Denny   Composer
John Cale   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Susanna Hoffs   Producer,Audio Production
John Lennon   Composer
Paul McCartney   Composer
Michael Nesmith   Composer
Van Dyke Parks   Liner Notes
Lou Reed   Composer
Matthew Sweet   Audio Production
Pete Townshend   Composer
Brian Wilson   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Rod Argent   Composer
Robin Gibb   Composer
Barry Gibb   Composer
Maurice Gibb   Composer
Bryan MacLean   Composer
Michael Sweet   Producer,Engineer
Ed Fotheringham   Illustrations
Thomas McAleese   Composer
Shawn Amos   Executive Producer
Jeff Palo   Artwork

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Under the Covers, Vol. 1 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
What a great combination of singing talent!! Nice choice of songs to bring out the best in both artists. And excellent production to boot!! Must buy.