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Halestorm: Reimagined

I must admit that I’ve long looked forward to Halestorm’s between album EPs with almost as much excitement as their releases proper. The latest in what has been up to now a series of covers EPs changes things up quite some bit. Gone, with one exception, are the reworkings of other people’s famous tunes, with Reimagined finding Halestorm reappraising five cuts of their own in more subdued, stripped back fashion.

I wouldn’t go as far as to call this six song effort an acoustic offering but it undoubtedly wants to sit in a more reserved situation than the band’s more normal arena rock stance ever allows. “I Get Off” opens, looking for an R&B heart that’s simply never quite there, as a vibe that this song never previously possessed now hits home like a budget No Doubt. Lzzy, as ever, impresses with an expert vocal and the band don’t scrimp on drama and poise, but if it’s all hung around a misconception then the results will only ever sound as half baked as they do here. The more acoustically situated “I Miss The Misery” is much more like it, another great vocal wrapped in sumptuous arrangements and an almost country twang, before Evanesence’s Amy Lee lends a hand to weave a vocal tapestry on “Break In” that strikes at the heart of what this EP really seems to be all about - Ms Hale and her voice. It’s one hell of a weapon but give me it shooting from the lip via a full throttle riff over this middle of the road scene chasing any time.

Following the blueprint laid down by “I Miss…”, “I Am The Fire” marries the original’s anger to a fragile framework to strong effect but all that good work is undone by a thoroughly lacklustre take on the Dolly Parton/Whitney Houston vocal showcase, “I Will Always Love You”. Landing musically more at the feet of the countryfied original but vocally in the ear shattering vocal territory of Houston’s smash hit, Lzzy does an admirable job without ever really stamping her authority on it. If, like me, the appeal of the original(s) baffles you, then so will this.

Closing out with a dirty, fuzzy, modern blues take on “Mz Hyde” does claw things back somewhat, but again, for a band so comfortable in their more expected setting, it all feels a little like an outfit looking to tag itself onto a scene they simply don’t need to reside in.

Stop gap EPs are just that, so in no way am I suggesting that Reimagined is a reflection of where Halestorm are these days. However, when their previous between-album outburst have been just so damn convincing, heightened expectations were always bound to be misplaced at some point. Unfortunately for us all, this is that moment. Roll on the next full length album!

Track Listing
1. I Get Off
2. I Miss The Misery
3. I Am The Fire
4. Break In (feat. Amy Lee)
5. I Will Always Love You
6. Mz. Hyde

Added: October 21st 2020
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Related Link: Halestorm online
Hits: 270
Language: english

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