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Jeremy - 2008 - "Yesterday, Today & Forever"

(72:51, Jam Recordings)


TRACK LIST:                                 

1.  Strawberry Fields Forever 4:27
2.  Nowhere Man 4:27
3.  Love 3:57
4.  It Don't Come Easy 2:57
5.  Blackbird 2:27
6.  Tomorrow Never Knows 5:47
7.  I Will 2:37
8.  Good Night 7:07
9.  Norwegian Wood 2:27
10. Hide Your Love Away 2:37
11. It's All Too Much 6:27
12. Long, Long, Long 2:47
13. I'm Happy Just to Dance With You 3:37
14. Here, There and Everywhere 1:57
15. Revolution 7 11:37
16. Tomorrow Never Knows Reprise 5:03
17. Good Night Reprise 2:33


Jeremy Morris  vocals; guitars, bass; drums, keyboards
Dave Dietrich  drums 
Several additional musicians

Prolusion. Jeremy MORRIS is an American composer and multi-instrumentalist who has been active for 25 years now. Click here to learn more of him.

Analysis. When getting familiar with Jeremy and his work, many find his output to be quite similar to The Beatles in sound and atmosphere, to the extent that it is obvious that the Fab Four have been a major influence for this artist. Seen in that light it is not unexpected that he would produce an album such as "Yesterday, Today and Forever" one day. On this creation Jeremy performs his personal interpretations of various compositions penned by the members of this classic rock band, adding one of his own songs to the mix too. What may surprise some is the choice of songs covered, though. There's no Yesterday here, no Let It Be either indeed many of their greatest hits are absent. Most of the songs present on this release are well known; quite a few are among the greatest hits of the Liverpoollians too, but this isn't a tribute album covering their greatest hits only. One of the tracks isn't even directly of Beatles origin: Love is a song penned by John Lennon and featured on the "John Lennon & Plastic Ono Band" album. This makes for an intriguing exploration into the history of this great pop band: some major hits, some minor hits and a few tracks that may be regarded as obscure if such a thing can be said about anything recorded by The Beatles. It's a more adventurous take on their production than most others have chosen over the years, which will undoubtedly be appreciated by potential buyers. One of the facets of Jeremy's performance is an asset as well as a disadvantage on a production such as this. He has a distinct Beatles quality to his own work, especially in the vocal department. The similarity isn't as much in his voice as such, but is a result of intonation and pronunciation first and foremost. He's skilled at creating an atmosphere and mood highly similar to these heroes of the 60s too, and on a production such as this album these similarities are a two-edged sword. On one hand it makes it easy to replicate whatever tune is covered, but on the other hand it makes it harder to produce a distinct and unique sound that separates his take from the myriad of existing cover versions of these songs. Jeremy solves this pretty well though. Some of his covers sound pretty close to the originals, but many have more or less subtle differences from the originals at least if my memory is to be trusted. Somewhat harder-edged guitars in some instances, keyboard and synth layers in the background creating differences in moods in other takes; a song like Good Night is extended with a long outro section (and a shortened version has been included too). The songs are all recognizable, on first listening they may appear to be more similar to the originals than they actually are, but as the album is given more spins it becomes clear that there are quite a few nuanced differences present. Revolution #7, the one composition made by Jeremy himself for this disc, is a long trip starting off as a distinctly Beatles-influenced affair before taking the listener on an elongated musical journey into the more spaced out corners of psychedelic pop, with a distinct Christian lyrical theme. It contains many surprising evolvements and quite a few adventurous choices, but personally I think a few of these tend to get overly explored. As I see it, this creation may be too stretched out, then again it does contrast with the other songs on this album taking this approach, which makes me suspect this may have been a deliberate choice.

Conclusion. The Beatles are among the most covered artists in modern history and any new release re-discovering their compositions will be measured up against endless numbers of similar productions. Jeremy's take is one quite refreshing in that respect. He's faithful to the originals and doesn't try changing these songs into something they aren't, but he doesn't aim at replicating them perfectly either. Subtle and nuanced additions to the originals are the name of the game here; and this together with a track selection quite far away from the cliched side of The Beatles cover productions should make this creation an interesting purchase for those enjoying the music of the Legend, especially those who find high class takes on their compositions intriguing.

OMB: November 5, 2008
The Rating Room

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