Stories » Robin McKelle's 'Alterations' is not just any set of covers / SoulandJazzandFunk

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Robin McKelle's 'Alterations' is not just any set of covers / SoulandJazzandFunk

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For her ninth album, 'Alterations', US soul and jazz chanteuse Robin Mckelle has chosen to do something very different to her previous recordings; she's chosen to record a set of covers – though not just any covers. The song selection on 'Alterations' (with one exception) is drawn from the repertoires of celebrated female artists... people like Joni Mitchell, Adele, Nina Simone and Janis Joplin. Robin explains that after recording a few albums of her own original music she wanted to focus once again on her first passion – just singing and, by extension, interpreting the music and lyrics of others. So she set about choosing a set of songs which spoke directly to her emotions allowing her interpretative instincts to take flight... and how!

'Alterations' is no "karaoke covers" album; rather it's a personal journey in music with each song given a totally different reading to the original version. That's most apparent on Robin's reading of Dolly Parton's 'Jolene'. Where the original was sprightly, jaunty even, this new take is almost a southern soul meander on which the lyrics seem to have more desperation and meaning. Janis Joplin's wish-list 'Mercedes Benz' is another southern country/soul steamer. The vocal's smoother than Joplin's but no less raunchy.