Album Reviews

Lissie – Covered Up With Flowers

on November 21, 2011, 7:57am
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It’s often an ambitious idea to release an entire album of covers. It can work if an artist adds their own spin to the material (e.g. Johnny Cash’s American Recordings), but that’s not always the case. Artists try to give a faithful rendition of each song, but this fails because there’s a reason the original artists played the songs the way they did, and you can’t mimic that. Singer/songwriter Lissie’s EP, Covered Up With Flowers, unfortunately doesn’t work and is a pockmark on an otherwise solid start to her career.

Originally put together in 2009, the EP features covers that would have been relevant and topical had they been released in that year. Kid Cudi’s “Pursuit of Happiness” is a shining spot on the album. A live staple, Lissie’s version of the tune is energetic and solid. The live recording here, cheerily, starts with Lissie laughing with the crowd as she says, “I think I’m gonna take a shot of tequila before I do it.”

Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”—the “Hallelujah” of our time in terms of covers—gets a shot as well, and her take on the guitar and drums, while not electronic, sticks fairly close to the original and doesn’t make it much better (perhaps pushing it further into obnoxious). Add that to a stomach-turning cover of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters”, and your ears should thank you that there are only five songs on this EP.

Lissie has a bright future in her own work and should find her way into plenty of record collections. But like that bowl cut you used to have, you might want to erase any evidence of this one from the archive.

Essential Tracks: “Pursuit of Happiness”, “Games People Play”

5 comments

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Randy Lutcavich
March 13, 2013 at 11:10 pm

I heard the Metallica cover in an episode of Californication and I loved it. You people are crazy. Haha

Jz
December 1, 2011 at 8:19 pm

She mixes, creates, changes the covers to make them somewhat of her own masterpiece. I seen live covers of “great” artists basically copying tone for tone the original song… lame.

high-five to Lissie with having the balls to re-create and transform such hits, and taking the time to rock the shit out of them live or not. 

Joseph
November 27, 2011 at 6:56 pm

Nick Freed’s review is harsh and his criticism is unwarranted.  If you like Lissie you’ll like this album.  Lissie takes the tracks by Kid Cudi and Lady Gaga and makes them her own.  Both are better than the originals.  I’m not familiar with the originals for tracks 3 and 5, but the covers are both pretty good.  The Metallica cover is my least favorite, but it is still competently reproduced.  I wish Lissie had chosen an alternate track to replace it.  Covered Up With Flowers is a great addition to my music library.

Annikaomelia
November 22, 2011 at 1:32 am

You are so off your rocker. This album is badass. I can’t think of a more versatile new artist… Can you?

Kate
November 21, 2011 at 2:57 pm

If you want a truly great covers album listen to Peppermint Radio by Kate Walsh – no relation!

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