27 September 2023

My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By AWOLNATION, Better Noise Music 2022.

It’s hard to do a consistently good album of covers, but AWOLNATION pulls it off with My Echo, My Shadow, My Covers and Me.

The album opens with a classic, Midnight Oil’s Beds Are Burning.

The version on this album is so good that Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil’s songwriter and drummer) has given it the thumbs up saying “A tough new light on our old song. The whistle at the end is a deft touch… congrats AWOLNATION on doing such a brilliant job.”

The song features Tim McIlrath of Rise Against The Machine and each song on the album has guest performers, many of them come as a complete surprise.

For instance, Taylor Hanson, of the band Hanson, does an excellent job with Madonna’s Material Girl.

Apparently, he was surprised when he was asked to do the song but it works brilliantly.

The album title is in itself a play on a cover – The Ink Spots released an album We Three (My Echo, My Shadow, and Me) in 1940 which was a title of one of their hit songs.

The songs on AWOLNATION’s covers album are: The OilsBeds Are Burning; Abba’s Take A Chance On Me;Just A Friend by Biz Markie (someone I’ve never heard of);Wind of Change by Scorpion; the Car’s Drive,Alone Again (Naturally) by Gilbert O’Sullivan; Alan Parson’sEye in The Sky; Maniac by Michael Sembello; Madonna’sMaterial Girl; Waiting Room by Fugazi ;and Flagpole Sitta by Harvey Danger.

This is an eclectic track mix, and it shows what a creative and sympathetic touch AWOLNATION has.

I love a good album of covers but they are not easy to find.

To do it properly hard decisions have to be made either to be faithful to the original or to make the song your own and reinterpret it.

AWOLNATION has picked the most difficult route of all by treading the narrow path between the two outlined alternatives and they have produced something magical.

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