Sound — 7
California's The Morning Benders just released their album, Talking Through Tin Cans in May 2008, and now two months later, they have released a new album, The Bedroom Covers. The new disc consists of cover tunes that demonstrate the band's dreamy-Beach Boys smooth rock and quixotic-pop side, which is a bit of an alter-ego from their folk-rock fare delivered on Talking Through Tin Cans. The Bedroom Covers starts off with a persuasive rendition of Roy Orbison's hit song Crying. Although The Morning Benders lead singer Chris Chu does not carry the tune with Orbison's same creamy, rich timbres, Chu's vocal variation meets the song's need to swoon with warm glides. It is one of the band's best remakes on the album. Other tracks that the band did a fine job of refurbishing include the gypsy-tinged tambourine and percussive treatment they put on Paul Simon's tune, Mother And Child Reunion and the smooth rock compressions that guitarist Joe Ferrell, bassist Tim Or, and drummer Julian Harmon infuse on Fleetwood Mac's hit single, Dreams. The Morning Benders re-configured some songs from their original take, and sometimes the band made it sound good like The Ronettes Why Don't They Let Us Fall In Love, and sometimes they made the songs sound unappealing like their take on The Cardigans pop song, Lovefool and the street tempo and country-folk textures they put on Velvet Underground's Temptation Inside Your heart. The Morning Benders remake of The Beach Boys pop song, Caroline has such a strong resemblance to the original that it could be conjectured that The Morning Benders have been spawned from The Beach Boys seeds, proving that some trends do come back around for another run.
Lyrics — 7
Though none of the lyrics were originally written by The Morning Benders, some lyrics fit the composure of lead singer, Chris Chu's voice as if he had written them, like Roy Orbison's words for Crying. Chu's voice wails passionately, When you said, 'So Long' / Left me standing all alone / Alone and crying, crying, crying, crying / It's hard to understand / But the touch of your hand can start me crying. Chu's elongated notes on crying, like Orbison are eloquent without being nauseating, which does the song justice.
Overall Impression — 7
Fans of The Morning Benders will enjoy The Bedroom Covers as a whole, but others will find that they like some songs and not the rest. The band's smooth rock treatments on Randy Newman's Marie and The Smith's I Won't Share You aren't as persuasive as their Orbison remake, but it has a dreamy pop slobbering with a Beach Boys-like aroma. The band's upbeat struts on The Crystals He's A Rebel, Johnny Mercer and Rube Bloom's Fools Rush In, and the Talking Heads Pull Up The Roots don't match up to the originals, although fans of The Morning Benders may understand where the band is coming from in these remakes. Unlike Talking Through Tin Cans which is good as a whole, The Bedroom Covers will be a pick and choose type of album for many folks.