Lissie - "Covered Up With Flowers" CD Review (Fat Possum) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Lissie - "Covered Up With Flowers" CD Review (Fat Possum)

Lissie - 'Covered Up With Flowers' CD Review (Fat Possum)After generating a buzz with the her full-length debut, Catching a Tiger (2010), and a sold-out CMJ show at Hiro Ballroom, Lissie's back with a five-track / 25 minute EP of covers, "Covered Up With Flowers". The disc includes covers of Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance", Kid Cudi's "Pursuit Of Happiness" and Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" (which are well familiar to fans through Lissie's YouTube videos) in addition to previously unheard covers of Joe South's "Games People Play" and a haunting version of Nick Cave's "The Ship Song".

Coincidently, prior to playing this disc, I had pulled Nick Cave's Kicking Against the Pricks off the shelf and given it a spin. There are a lot of similarities between Kicking Against the Pricks and "Covered Up With Flowers" as Lissie, like Cave, picks an eclectic mix of cover songs and "owns" her version and reinterpretation of these songs. The key to a good cover song is to pick something unexpected and then either present a unique take on the song or completely deconstruct the song (like Devo's "Satisfaction" or Meat Puppets' "I've Got a Right"). By this mark, Lissie succeeds on both fronts and gives recognizable but unique takes on each of these five songs.

The disc starts with a live version of Kid Cudi's "Pursuit of Happiness", which appears to be from the video embedded above. After this, Lissie shaves off the pop gloss from Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" and delivers a dark and somber but spirited reinterpretation of the song. From there, Lissie goes into a sun-baked cover of Joe South's "Games People Play" before returning back to the somber side of life with faithful-to-the-original covers of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" and Nick Cave's "The Ship Song".

While most covers albums are stop-gap measures, "Covered Up With Flowers" is a solid addition to Lissie's catalog as it collects (almost all of) the previously unreleased songs that have helped defined Lissie's career to-date.