Origins – Singers and Songs That Made Me LP by Jeff Coffey
After a couple of decades in the game, Jeff Coffey is definitely someone you could call a seasoned player in every aspect of the contemporary terminology. A musician whose credits are as timeless as most of the tracks on his new album Origins – Singers and Songs That Made Me, Coffey is back in the spotlight this year with what could easily be the only captivating cover LP you’re going to hear before 2020 has expired. “New York Minute,” “This Is It” and even “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” get touch-ups for a modern era in pop/rock, and while I came into this review expecting a lot of the starring artist, I’m pleased to say I was blown away by what I discovered in all fifteen songs here.
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The guitar is definitely as much of a star as Coffey himself in “When We Dance,” the stadium rocker “Ask the Lonely,” the blistering solo in “Maybe I’m Amazed” and the hesitant “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” inevitably lending our man an additional vibe of the old school rock n’ roll frontmen he clearly grew up idolizing. He isn’t shy about getting wild with his vocal harmonies in all of this material, and even if it gets a little theatrical in “Back on My Feet Again” or “Waiting for a Girl Like You,” I haven’t any doubts as to whether or not this was an intentional element. Everything here sounds deliberate, as is typical of hallmark recordings in any discography.
In terms of flow, this content is amazingly well-connected for coming from so many different sources. There are more than a couple occasions on which Origins – Singers and Songs That Made Me feels like a quality mixtape more than it does a glossy pop record from a player who simply wants to have fun playing some of his favorite classics, and that’s a big deal all by itself. “Maggie May” and “It’s Only Love” are not easy tracks to lay down, but when Jeff Coffey takes them with a relaxed attitude, they sound as chill-inducing as they ever have. Origins is a time machine and a touching homage, which is essentially the one perfect balance a cover album is able to attain in this dimension.
A bold LP that is a heck of a lot more exciting than its initial description might imply, the new record from Jeff Coffey isn’t an easy collection to set down if you’re a classic rock type. There haven’t been a whole lot of great rock or pop albums out in 2020, and though this isn’t a standard release at all, it has the kind of energy that a lot of us have been missing in our lives lately – myself included. Coffey has a good handle on what he’s doing in Origins, and if this is the lone cover record he chooses to record before bringing his career to a conclusion, it would actually be a bit of a shame for a younger generation that needs to be introduced to a purer form of electric music.