Friday, July 12, 2013

Marti Pellow-Between The Covers (2003)


I've been listening to—and re-listening to—THE PRETENDERS and their original recording of the 80's classic, "Brass In Pocket", all week along, and ever since that song's gotten stuck in my head, it's been making me think about at least one artist who recorded a respectable cover of it himself: Marti Pellow. Not familiar with the name? Then maybe you're familiar the Scottish band who had one of the quirkiest names from the 80's: WET WET WET, who recorded hits such as "Temptation", "Wishing I Was Lucky", "Sweet Surrender" and, later in 1995, "Love Is All Around"? Mmmhmm—I thought that would jog somebody's memory. This talented Mr. Marti Pellow you see pictured above was the band's lead singer, and it wasn't until a few years back when I heard that cover of "Brass In Pocket" that I'd realized he's embarked on a career on his own. And if you think his rendition of that PRETENDERS classic is the reason I had gotten Marti's third solo album, "Between The Covers", in the first place, you are exactly right! And he ain't 'pretending' to be Chryssie Hynde or anyone else for that matter while he's singing, either, though it might feel a bit odd not hearing Chryssie's voice at first and may take a while for you to embrace Marti's more warming version of it without the familiar blaring rock guitar sounds of the 80's. In listening to him singing it again tonight, I realized that I still hadn't gotten the lyrics to this song figured out, erroneously believing the fourth line of the chorus to be 'gonna use my senses' instead of 'gonna use my side-step', which, at last, are the correct words! But I'm not gonna edit that Sunday night post on THE PRETENDERS; I find it rather humorous when I make these little mistakes. Not to get so locked up in talking about "Brass In Pocket" all night, let me move on to the rest of the fine tunes here on "Between The Covers". You'll discover that Marti's contemporary pop/rock style refreshing and sleeping between the covers should be. And that's even when jams it out with grit and soul on loud, bombastic tunes, like the opener, "A Lot Of Love", plus "Follow Me" and especially on one of my favorites, "Don't Let Me Down", which is filled with tons of aching passion (the backup singers blow me away on this one!). A little bit of funk comes your way on two of the best-written, down-to-earth pieces on the album: "Mary Jane's Last Dance" and "Grandma's hands". On the former, he's surely talking about the slang name for the drug and not an actual woman, as he offers that one more dance with Mary Jane will kill the pain. If you're one to prefer the gentler, easier-listening side of things, you'll love listening to Marti on the dreamy number "Creep", which totally fits the whole 'between the covers'/bedtime/in your bedroom more ways than one, in fact; "The River" (there's one for the sentimental crowd out there); "Suzanne"; and my other favorite, "Hard To Cry", whose somber yet beautiful melody ironically might cause you to shed a tear or two. Fans of WET WET WET will enjoy sliding between the covers and tuning in to this album, but if you've never heard anything by this band nor the accomplishments of its former frontman, then this is a good place for you to get your feet wet:

1. A Lot Of Love
2. Brand New Start
3. Fire And Rain
4. Follow Me
5. Creep
6. Mary Jane's Last Dance
7. Brass In Pocket
8. The River [New Version]
9. Grandma's Hands
10. Suzanne
11. Don't Let Me Down
12. Hard To Cry

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