Review Summary: They may be Counterfeits and Forgeries, but they are done well.3 of 3 thought this review was well written
Cover albums... usually made by a band/artist that are struggling to create any musical ideas of their own or are looking for any chance at a money grab. Year after year we are treated (a strong word) to horrible versions Bon Jovi’s ‘Living on A Prayer’ but it is always fantastic when you hear covers done well, or even better versions than the original, if possible. And that’s where a hardly known Australian singer/songwriter comes into play.
Paul Dempsey has been having a stellar year. After releasing his debut album Everything Is True
, which has easily become an album of the year contender and having much success with media and the public united, Dempsey recorded a simple four track EP, all songs being covers. Counterfeits and Forgeries
is aptly titled, and is a very clever play on what the album is all about. The song choice being very far from normal, mixing it up with very recent releases, to those of the very old. Dempsey does the whole EP with just his vocals and his trusty acoustic guitar, changing the feel and stylistic genres of the original recordings. He is able to make his heartfelt, winsome and wispy, yet wonderful vocals feel right at home, and almost deep within the dwellings of these covers, making them all feel like he penned the songs himself.
The pop-tastic ‘Time to Pretend’ is done to perfection, and bought down to a very basic feel that is Paul Dempsey. So much has the reaction been positive to this version, that it has been played many times on local Australian radio, and been a feature at Dempsey’s live shows. Classic’s ‘So Like Candy’ and ‘Heaven’ follow with Dempsey’s vocal interplay almost making the tracks grab you deep down, as his voice shine on these tracks, with high falsetto’s to deep soothing melodies that make you hold your breath. While Sonic Youth tune, ‘Disappearer’ is the main disappointment on this EP, as Dempsey sings in quite a monotone fashion, and doesn’t add any extra flair, like he creates so well on previous tracks.
While this is a cover album, Dempsey has been able to hold an audience making different choices in the songs he covers, and by adding his own twist, and keeping the versions in a much simpler format it works so well, so well in fact that some of the cover versions get more plays than originals. But one must not forget, this is a cover album and must be enjoyed in that way.