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20: Re-imagined pop turned jazz with NEIL C. YOUNG's 'REWORKS VOL.1'...

Updated: Nov 28, 2023


North-West based jazz guitarist Neil C. Young has released an energy-filled EP this week entitled 'ReWorks Vol.1', and I've been waiting until the day I can share this track-by-track review with you all! Packed full with recognisable hooks, added flare and soulful performance, this EP is a masterpiece of musicality and togetherness. Covering the likes of Lana Del Rey, Julia Michaels, Gomez and Maroon 5, pop classics are flipped on their head in true Neil style, portraying a completely different feel and groove with each track. Let's zoom in closer to get a true look at the Neil C. Young Trio's work...

 

Track 1: 'Issues'

'a burst of groove and style'

Taking the 2017 pop-anthem classic and turning it into a jazz fusion experience, Neil's cover of Julia Michaels' 'Issues' opens up the EP in a burst of groove and style. From the ear-hitting slap-bass, to the intricate guitar arrangement, you get the first taste of what Neil (guitar), Ben (drums) and Alan (bass) are capable of, all tastefully wrapped up in pop melodies and exquisite production. With hypnotic triplet rhythms pushing you into the wave of ecstasy, everything in this track compliments one another; effortlessly floating from complex solos to notable choruses and back again. Despite not having the original lyrics sung in this track, Neil and his band portray the themes and discussions of the song through musical interpretation brilliantly - painting the sonic picture of loving someone so much that it overrides any issues or negativity in your life.



Track 2: 'Video Games'

'a rock-jazz experience like no other'

Track 2 on the 'ReWorks Vol.1' EP sees Lana Del Rey's 'Video Games' evolve into a rock-jazz experience like no other. From the pulled-back verses creating an air of mystery and suspense, to the larger-than-life choruses coated in distortion and heart-hitting drums, this interpretation of Lana's soft presense is completely re-imagined in this track. Something that really stands out in this track is the bass guitar arrangement, constantly driving everything forward chromatically and with pure intention. Delving into the dark ideas of abuse and frustration, the feel of this track couldn't be any more opposite to 'Issues' in track one, further accenting how versatile and developed this EP is both in it's arrangements and themes.



Track 3: 'Tijuana Lady'

'perfect soundtrack for any roadtrip of your choosing'

The softest of the four tracks, track 3 sees the Neil C. Young Trio cover Gomez's 'Tijuana Lady', and with it comes a breathe of appreciation for the musicality and arrangement ability in the EP. The answer to the angsty track 2, 'Tijuana Lady' is a revelation of unrequited love and longing, with a sense of being uplifted and determined weaved into the sounds and melodies portrayed. From subtle muted guitar lines, to rich-sounding lead guitar re-harmonisation and widening drums, this again shows another side to the band's talents, making this track in particular a perfect soundtrack for any roadtrip of your choosing. With the feeling of being unknowing yet still hopeful, the youthfulness of the bright guitar leaves you at ease with life as you transport through this track.



Track 4: 'Sunday Morning'

'nostalgic and laid-back'

A final call-to-action in the suspence filled introduction, before the infectious groove of the drums and bass join us, Neil's cover of Maroon 5's 'Sunday Morning' is the perfect ending to a perfectly crafted EP. The feel-good solution after a journey of abuse, longing and issues, this track is formulated with soul-driven guitar melodies, warm strings, and a tightly-pocketed rhythm section. The nostalgic and laid-back feel is refreshing and well-recieved after the emotional journey this EP holds, with almost the same feeling you get in the final scene of a Pixar film (Disney, if you're listening, take note of this composer!). A true credit to the band's musical abilities in the ridiculously intricate arrangement for this track, making it enjoyable and exciting to listen to.

 

If you enjoyed this track-by-track review, make sure to go and check out the EP in full from start to finish: it's a true experience of emotion and energy fit for any occasion.



by Meg Shaw, Local & Live Media

Review No. 20

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