You’re looking at this article and saying to yourself along the lines of: “Man, another compilation series? These are never good.” (If you didn’t, humor me and pretend that you did so my supposedly witty article makes some sort of sense.) Well in terms of compilation series, you would be wrong when it comes to Rewind! 5. Rewind! 5 is the 5th release in the Rewind! compilation series, featuring exclusive tracks by artists including ?uestloves’ Randy Watson Experience to the hotly tipped J*Davey. These 11 uniquely sounding cover versions include everyone from Fleetwood Mac to Led Zeppelin, The Beach Boys to the Sylvers. Are you still with me or are you still caught up on the fact that I just dropped ?uestloves’ name? Okay, now that I have your attention, the basic concept of the Rewind! compilation series is pretty simple: the selected artists cover their favorite tracks, revealing their musical influences and as a bonus, they bring classic tunes “up to date.”
Starting off, Rewind! 5 covers Burt Bacharach’s “Walk on By”. Admittedly, the instrumentals are amazing on this track. With the addition of brass instruments, the El Michaels Affair adds a jazzy side to this song, making it stand out and jumps out at you; however, the decision to drop all the vocals on this track causes this six-minute track to seem flat and lack development other than the initial changes to the instrumentals. The next few tracks add a breathe of fresh air to the covered songs; otherwise, nothing is drastically changed in the covers.
Before you stop reading, and tell yourself “I told you so”, keep reading because this album only gets better (way better) on the second half most notably, ?uestloves’ Randy Watson Experiences cover of Sting’s “Be Still My Beating Heart”. The new instrumentals drops the ghostly feel of the original and adds a jazzy flare to the entire song; however, the ghostly feel of the original is still present in the song in the form of the vocals.
Overall, Rewind! 5 is a compilation series that is out of the ordinary—it’s amazing and adds a groovy feel to classics. The start of the album is a little weaker than the ending, but the amazing covers at the end more than compensates for any minor fault in the beginning.