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Lana Lane

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Symphonic Team
3 stars Don't try so hard

In 2003, Lana Lane released this covers album featuring strong versions of songs originally recorded by Kansas, Uriah Heep, Rainbow, Queen, and several others. I was previously familiar with seven out of the 11 songs covered here, but the rest were new to me. Overall, it is a very nice collection of covers, and it is clear that Lana and I have some favourites in common (especially the four bands mentioned above). It must however be said that the selections focus on the Classic Rock side of Lana Lane's influences, rather than the Prog side. The disc opens with an excellent version of the Kansas classic The Wall. Next up is Kashmir, one of Led Zeppelin's best numbers, again a very good rendition here by Lana Lane. Soaring, originally by a band called Aviary, was a new discovery for me, but it is a good song. Argent's Hold Your Head Up is, however, a song that I never much liked, and the present version is not better that the original (or Uriah Heep's version, for that matter). Innocence, originally by Enuff Znuff; I'll See You In My Dream, originally by Giant; and Northern Lights, originally by TNT, were also all new to my ears. I was pleasantly surprised by the choice of Queen's Don't Try So Hard, a song that originally appeared on the Innuendo album. Certainly not among Queen's better songs, but a good one. Still Loving You by The Scorpions is the one song here that I would say is better than its original version. Uriah Heep's Weep In Silence is another non-obvious choice. Finally, the album closes with Rainbow's epic Stargazer.

Covers Collection is an enjoyable listen, but by no means essential

Report this review (#894817)
Posted Thursday, January 17, 2013 | Review Permalink
Tarcisio Moura
3 stars Anyone who is familiar with the work of Lana Lane knows that she and her band, lead by her husband, keyboardist extraordinaire Erick Norlander, always recorded one or two covers on each of her albums. Most of the time those covers were so good it was only a matter of time before they decided to record a whole CD of them. And why not? They are one of few artists who seem to tackle any song, even overplayed classic stuff, and do a respectful, almost note by note version and still give it a fresh and exciting extra,something really hard to find.

So expectations were quite high when this CD was finally released in 2003. And did it live up to those expectations? The answer is both yes and no. The problem here seems to be the fact that those guys are maybe too talented for their own good. And as much gifted and sharp as they are, not everything they touch becomes gold. Cover Collectionīs main fault is the choice of material: while covers of such classics like Led Zeppelinīs Kashnir, Kansas The Wall and Rainbowīs Stargazer seem pretentious, they are actually the best cuts, proving once and for all that these musicians may aim very high and get away with it. On the other side, Lana Lane and company also chose some obscure, lesser known songs from bands like Enuff Znuff, Aviary, Giant and TNT, plus some not very good stuff from Queen, Scorpions and Uriah Heep.

It is clear that no song here is bad. Norlanderīs tasteful arrangements and Laneīs incredible voice give at least a "good" rating for every single track, even the weakest ones (Argentīs Hold Your Head Up is definitely not a good song for her voice) . However, there are too many ballads and too few rockers, something that spoils the balance of the tracklist. In all, the album starts great and ends great, but the middle section is definitely below par, something that even the crystal clear production and engineering (again done by Norlander himself) could not help.

In the end I must say I like this album. After all, itīs all very well done and clearly they love and respect everything they recorded. What is a letdown is realizing the fact that, with a little more care for the best tunes to cover, they could have come up with an excellent CD.They can handle even the most intricate challenges and should have been bolder. As it is, however, Cover Collection turned out to be "only" very good.

Report this review (#1401443)
Posted Monday, April 20, 2015 | Review Permalink

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