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LEE AARON Tattoo Me

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Saturday, April 6, 2024 @ 9:22 AM


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LEE AARON
Tattoo Me

Metalville Records




"Songs are like tattoos" - the famous first line of Joni Mitchell's Blue - is a sentiment that has always resonated deeply for Canadian rocker LEE AARON.

Hard as it is to believe, but eighteen studio albums into her career in which she has written, recorded, and produced music achieving gold and multi-platinum sales and continues to be recognized as one of Canada's top rock vocalists as well as making forays into jazz, blues, and even opera, there's been one gaping musical notch that's been missing from AARON's studded bullet belt: A covers album.

And a unique covers album at that as well titled Tattoo Me, running the broad line from 70's classic rock and punk to 90's Britpop and even early 2000's retro garage.

Taking a nostalgic journey, Tattoo Me pays homage to musical trailblazers who helped shape her own artistic path. As a reflection of her eclectic taste, yet in keeping with a profound respect for the greats, these 11 dynamic tracks are a unique tapestry of influences that transcend era and genre.

"It started out as a heartfelt nod to artists we'd been influenced by in our youth, but the truth is, we didn't stop being influenced or being fans at 18, so the list kept evolving. It covers a few decades and a few unconventional choices, but it was incredibly rewarding to make!" she states.

Each track is a labor of love, infused with AARON and her band's signature rock 'n' roll swagger, yet in keeping with a sense of reverence for the originals. In fact, with the performance on a good number of these tracks being so on point, one would be surprised to discover that they're noticeable covers at all. Opening track "Tattoo" commences with the voracious yet sensual croon of AARON's multi-faceted vocal skills that's so personable and modern that you'd be convinced that the song was straight out of her mid-90's catalogue - except that the song itself was originally penned by 80's California Christian rock outfit the 77's. AARON's take on the 1960 Nina Simone jazz classic "The Pusher" is more of a catchy upbeat street savvy-sounding blues rock version, moving away in particular from the more commonly-known STEPPENWOLF cover. An odd sensation to take from a song depicting the horrors of drug abuse, perhaps, but proof nevertheless that AARON has a diverse musical palate that can lend itself to different musical landscapes.

Other standout numbers include a rendition of LED ZEPPELIN's "What Is And What Should Never Be", and HEART's "Even It Up". Stellar performances by AARON's long-term band - Sean Kelly (guitar), Dave Reimer (bass), and John Cody (drums) - effortlessly channel these '70s and '80s rock giants and seem to capture the original magic of each of the tunes. Another gem is AARON's take on Elton John's "Someone Saved My Life Tonight". Kelly's gorgeous acoustic guitars create the soundscape, then strings and lush harmonies support her stirring vocal performance. The tribute is passionate and heartfelt. She reflects, "I spent hours and hours laying on my basement floor with headphones listening to "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" on repeat. I desperately wanted someone to save me from my boring life when I was a teenager...music ended up being that for me." Elsewhere, AARON champions some of her latter-day 90's grunge/Britpop girl power inspirations with her faithful renditions of "Malibu" by HOLE and "Connection" by ELASTICA. Even the classic punk rock crush of "Teenage Kicks" by THE UNDERTONES is given a decent makeover and even a neat lyrical female perspective that works.

The album was produced by AARON in her Vancouver studio and mixed by multi-media genius Frank Gryner (ROB ZOMBIE, L7, DEF LEPPARD, Larkin Poe, Ian Hunter, and more).

For many artists, the concept of an all-covers album is never an easy one to ink out exactly by design. Often it involves lots of time in selecting the right pattern of songs which leave a permanent impression on the soul but also ensuring that a different version of the original doesn't get under one's proverbial skin.

5.0 Out Of 5.0

https://www.leeaaron.com/
https://www.instagram.com/leeaaron.music/
https://twitter.com/LeeAaronMusic
https://www.facebook.com/LeeAaronMusic
https://linktr.ee/leeaaron


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