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Day 37: Liv Moon – “Covers: Scream as a Woman” (2010)
Genre: Rock / Pop / Symphonic Metal
I adore Symphonic Metal. And I think the best of it usually features a distinct pop influence in terms of melody composition. I also love fantastic vocalists. This EP combines all those things, a collection of Symphonic Metal covers of famous pop songs, performed by an incredibly capable vocalist – I love this woman.
From the get-go, Covers tackles a difficult song. After a short introduction that samples Like a Prayer, we get to Wuthering Heights, a Kate Bush cover. Liv impresses with her operatic clarity and does a surprisingly good job at capturing the soft, raspy nature of the original. The production is based mainly in Pop music, not yet introducing the Metal elements. It’s a well-performed cover, however, I feel like it lacks a climax, partly due to the choice of song – never really reaching full force.
A Blondie cover, Call Me, promises the opposite. A fun, fully orchestrated pop track. And it delivers! The guitars come out of hiding, placed right beside the vocals now, and it captures the attitude of the original successfully. I do find the chorus to be a bit messy. The same goes for the transition into the final pre-chorus.
It’s time to pull out the big guns now, starting with a cover of the Deep Purple hit Child In Time. It’s hard to live up to such a progressive, legendary band – but the cover doesn’t stress itself, developing naturally and beautifully. The stylistic shift around the middle of the song in particular is wonderfully executed.
Continuing to pay homage to highly influential artists, we are treated to Madonna’s Like A Prayer, rearranged into a wonderfully heavy, powerful piece of hardrock. I love Madonna and I love the original song, but there’s something special about this cover, the pure explosive force behind it. It lacks the playful subtlety of the original, instead turning the song into something entirely new. And those vocals!
Liv seems to have a thing for late 70s to mid 80s pop hits, going for one of ABBA’s most fun tracks. Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man After Midnight) adds some surprisingly well-matched strings and rough guitars to the popular track, breathing new life into it. It’s a highly dynamic cover, most certainly not a half-assed job. I always felt that ABBA songs had something robotic about their delivery – Liv fixes that, she feels organic in this song, always exactly giving us what we need to hear.
The Show Must Go On is one of my favorite songs ever recorded and most certainly my favorite Queen song. As such, I was scared that the cover may not live up to the sheer grandeur and emotion of the original. And no, it doesn’t live up entirely – but it still may just be the best cover of the song I have heard. The vocals are a bit overdrawn, but the arrangement and production? No flaws to be found.
I shouldn’t be surprised by the album closer, a rendition of Händel’s aria Lascia Chio Pianga. In the end, Liv is a trained classical soprano – and this aria is one of the most popular ones to come out of Baroque. The song sticks to the basic version of the Aria, not adding any Symphonic Metal elements. It’s a good closer, beautifully performed – just a tiny bit out of place.
Covers – Scream As A Woman is an expertly crafted cover EP. Beautiful, magnificent arrangements to classics, performed by one of the most capable vocalists in the Metal scene. There’s very little to complain about – except that I would have liked a sequel to this EP, with more covers.