Mothers Day mustn’t be too far away, as we’re starting to be bombarded with the kind of mellow music designed to make mums everywhere swoon. Adding his voice to the mix is Perth crooner Earl Cole with his third album When the Lights are Low.
The album follows the tried and true formula followed by so many artists these days; take a collection of time honored classics and remind your listeners why these songs are so special. Michael Buble, David Campbell, and Rod Stewart have all done it many times, so why should we listen to Earl?
Happily there are a few reasons to give this local version a spin. The collection of tracks here is something special, with a few well known classics sitting alongside those that may be unfamiliar to modern audiences. It’s not the same old thing that we’ve heard on every disc of this ilk, and that variety is refreshing. Clearly Earl is a man who really knows this music, rather than one who chooses to sing what has become popular.
He’s also someone who has a real passion for the material. He’s performed these songs for years, and the confidence that comes from that intimate knowledge of the music really shines through. He sings with a real reverence for the originals, never pushing the envelope or attempting to make them hip. Some may argue that you shouldn’t cover a song if you can’t bring something new to it, but I’m not so sure.
Ballads are clearly Earl’s strength, but so many of them strung together makes the album a bit sleepy in places. I wish there were more upbeat numbers like the standouts, “Orange Colored Sky” and “I’ve Got the World on a String,” to bring a bit more lightness to the disc.
If you’ve never warmed to the music celebrated by Michael Buble, David Campbell, and performers of their ilk, there’s probably little on When the Lights are Low to change your mind. But then again, I don’t think Earl made the album for you. He knows his market, and he knows the mums of Australia are going to love this.
You can listen to samples of the album and order it through Earl Cole’s website.
Image source: Earl Cole website