Review Summary: A few original ideas cannot compensate the hollowness of a cover album that ultimately fails to achieve a real musical or economic result.
Cover albums are undoubtedly a tricky move, especially if released after a streak of generally criticized albums and even more tricky when the water around your moniker, band members and public image is already turbulent. That is the case for Queensrÿche's tenth studio release, which sees the band offering their take on the sounds that helped to craft their own.
It is sad to observe how Take Cover
fails at some of the basic requirements of a cover album. It is a shame that former guitarist Chris DeGarmo is not present, the style of the original guitar couple, DeGarmo and Michael Wilton, would have made for more interesting reinterpretations. Nevertheless that is not what hinders the album. The real let-down is the actual effectiveness of most of the content. While the rocking version of Pink Floyd's "Welcome to the Machine" serves as a promising start, with its emotional instrumentation and catchy, cadenced vocals, that is almost as far as the good ideas go.
is in fact filled with unneeded material. Prime examples are the fearfully flat "Almost Cut My Hair", which does in no way justice to the original by CSNY, the plain stupid sounding (considering who is playing) "For the Love of Money" or even "Neon Knights", which does not add anything relevant to the original Black Sabbath classic. Much more interesting are "Innuendo" and "Odissea". The first showcases the band going for a much welcomed progressive structure, while the second is an Italian opera, originally a duet by Carlo Marrale and Salvatore Licitra, sung entirely in its original language. Even though Geoff Tate's shaky italian detracts a lot from his performance, the majestic atmosphere of the original is not completely gone and the track should put a smile on every fan of the band, at least for witnessing Tate actually experimenting with his voice.
Two factors that hinder the overall product are the loud production and Geoff Tate himself. The former is at times inexplicable, take "Heaven on Their Minds" as an example, where a rather strong hook by Tate is buried by the instruments. The latter is arguably the worst aspect of Take Cover
. His performance fluctuates a lot. He often sounds artificial, occasionally even off-key, but most of the time simply borderline annoying, and really loud.
is ultimately of doubtful use. Its use is not clear even if seen as a 'filler album' aimed to maintain commercial presence, because 2007 also saw the publishing of Mindcrime at the Moore
, Extended Versions
and Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche
. A not-so-certain buy for very dedicated fans only, who are likely to find something to complain about.