Past Entertainment Articles.
Article for the week of 11/9/07
New Found Glory- From the Screen to your Stereo Part II
Eight years ago pop-punk band New Found glory signed on to Richard and Stefanie Reines' Drive-Thru Records, and roughly seven and a half years ago, the band released their first original Drive-Thru release, From the Screen to your Stereo, an EP containing covers of various songs from movies. Now, after a quick run with Geffen Records, the band returns to Drive-Thru yet again, this time with a full-blown album of covers and various guest singers, something that, seeing how New Found Glory seems to be friends with everyone who has ever been on Warped tour and then some, probably was not that hard to do.
The album opens with a cover of Sixpence None the Richer's “Kiss me” (from She's All That), which has definitely received an increase in pace in the hands of Cyrus, Chad, Steve and Ian's decision to give things their own flair, while Jordan sings about wearing dresses in a softer version of his usual voice.
This becomes far more obvious when the band continues to rock out entirely to Bob Dylan's “It ain't me, babe”, which in the original version is typically Dylan-esque and slow. And of course, NFG makes it sound exactly the way a good pop-punk song should, full of energy and action.
Then comes one of the probably catchiest songs on the entire album, “The Promise”, originally by When in Rome and featured in Napoleon Dynamite. Whereas the When In Rome version is an icky 80's pop-song, the New Found Glory version contains less icky keyboards and more rock and Dashboard Confessional-singer Chris Carabba vocals.
The cavalcade of people continues with Patrick Stump from Fall out Boy appearing on “The King of Wishful thinking” from Pretty Woman, and Lisa Loeb then gives Jordan a hand during the cover of her own song “Stay (I missed you)”, one of the calmer songs on the album, a nice little break that doesn't feel off in the least.
Later the album takes a small dip by covering a song that is hard to save even with Adam Lazarra of Taking Back Sunday and Stacy Dupree from Eisley doing guest vocals. However, since a large part of what makes From The Screen to Your Stereo is humour, I can live with hearing The Cardigans' “Lovefool” on the album, although the most interesting part is hearing Lazarra sing on a New Found Glory album. Debates on whether he did a good job can be had, but the same can be said for the song in general, which lacks the same sort of steam the earlier songs so easily got. There is simply very little of New Found Glory recognizable in it, which is a shame.
Of course, if making a cover of Lovefool is foolish, attempting to cover one of the best and most beautiful songs in the world might be the dumbest thing anyone could ever do. Fortunately, the band's realized that the best way to cover The goo Goo Dolls masterpiece “Iris” and not make it sound terrible is to give it entirely your own thing so it cannot be compared to the original, a comparison anyone would fail (by the way, there should be a bounty on Ronan Keating for even trying). The New Found Glory version starts rocking, and keeps going from there, and both Will Pugh from Cartel and Jordan Pundik have voices that fit perfectly with the rockier version, and any doubt one had as to how the hell anyone could pull off a cover of Iris goes away.
After Iris comes another well-known song, originally by Simple Minds. I doubt their version of “Don't you (forget about me)” had quite as heavy a feel to it as the New Found Glory version has. It borders on post-hardcore or metal at times, and is a joy to listen to. It does away with all that softness of the original and manages to be another one of those songs that shows what the entire album is about.
After a song with some weird title in French (J'y Suis Jamais Allé) from a movie I've heard of and probably will never watch, Amélie, the final cameo on the album goes on with Max Bemis from Say Anything on “Crazy for you”, originally a Madonna song, so needless to say, it has been vastly improved and yet is one of those songs that sort of drift away on the album.
Unfortunately, the same almost goes for the cover of Tears For Fears “Head Over Heels” (a Tears for Fears cover, how original...), which has a lot in common with the original. I am not entirely sure I would have ended the U.S release with this song, but it manages to be a fairy feel-good ending, so I suppose it is okay.
Now comes the hard part, whether this is worth buying or not, or whether it counts as good? This is always an issue with albums that are nothing but covers made with a small gleam in the eye in my opinion, but all in all, if you like New Found Glory, From the Screen to your Stereo Pt. II is a worthy buy. Then again, if you like New Found Glory, chances are you already own it.
For the rest, there is a lot of fun to be had with the album, and might be a good gateway in case you like any of the other bands just to hear the guest vocals. It is memorable trivia, and a fun one at that (my copy's signed, so I rather have to keep it around and close to me), but not quite comparable to an album entirely of new songs. However, Iris alone might very well be worth it if you find the album cheap, and add to this a bunch of other healthy pop-punk fun and I would at least highly recommend listening to a few songs to find out for yourself.
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