Lissie: When I’m Alone. The Piano Retrospective review – stick to the original

Wed, Apr 3, 2019, 05:00


When I'm Alone: The Piano Retrospective


Cooking Vinyl

Singer / Songwriter

There’s been a surge of artists revisiting their music and reinterpreting the arrangements; from Jeff Tweedy’s sombre approach towards Wilco’s sprawling alt-country to Sophie Ellis-Bextor giving her biggest singles a dramatic orchestral makeover.

The latest retracing their musical steps is Lissie with When I’m Alone: The Piano Retrospective. Here, her pop-country melodies are transformed into introspective ballads.

Prefacing the compilation, the Illinois-born singer wanted to evaluate the integrity of her songwriting minus the alluring post-production bells and whistles that can distract from mediocre foundations; “You find out whether [a song] can stand on its own, whether it’s a good song,” she proffered.

Taking to the piano, her words isolated by bare instrumentation, it’s difficult to engage with these simultaneously uninspired and exaggerated renditions.

The inclusion of a palatable cover of Fleetwood Mac’s Dreams is no surprise considering Lissie’s timbre is indebted to Stevie Nicks’ distinct rasp. Elsewhere, Everywhere I Go is the sole earnest moment, throughout.

An album of this ilk feels both premature and unnecessary at this stage in Lissie’s career. Truthfully, you’re better off sticking with the original versions of these songs.