Jann Arden‘s vocals are rarely showcased to their full effectiveness, perhaps because the songs she writes lack the range that she is capable of giving. So it’s always a treat to hear Jann do covers because some of the selections she chooses allow her to present the true strength and ability that she can do. Particularly on her first collective of covers from 2007, Uncover Me, and again on the second album Uncover Me 2.
The selection of songs covered on this collection aren’t as personal as the first. It takes a while for the pace to pick up, perhaps as the chosen list of songs aren’t as familiar as the ones that made up the first covers album. What made Uncover Me one of Jann’s best collections of studio recordings was that the songs were hand-chosen by her and each for a reason. This collection lacks the oomph that the first had with what seem to be a more random assortment of covers that clearly don’t mean as much to Jann as the others did and therefore, wouldn’t mean as much to us either.
Uncover Me 2 is much more mellow than the first covers album with just a few outlying tracks that liven things up such as Glory Of Love, which might suggest that Jann could consider a spot on Broadway. One of the other highlights is the first single Only The Lonely, which could fit in quite well with the last instalment of covers because it is a classic and it is where Jann sounds her best on here. She captures the song and makes it her own without sacrificing too much of the original. On the flipside, the cover of Dreams doesn’t capture anything new that previous covers have so it feels unnecessary.
Most of the tracks on here seem subdued for Jann who rarely ever holds back. Her vocals are strong, as hoped, but her heart doesn’t seem to be in it. A record of covers is usually a good idea for an artist already so established and Jann accomplished that perfectly with Uncover Me but she was unable to recreate the magic again a second time around. While I’d support the suggestion of third disc in the series, perhaps it should be better thought out and be given a theme. Where the first album consisted of some of Jann’s childhood favourites, the second lacks any sort of plan or consistency but with these types of recordings, Jann has never sounded better so the potential is there. All she needs is the magic.
01. Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
02. You Don’t Own Me
03. In My Room
04. Que Sera Sera
05. Love Hurts
07. Mr. McLennen
08. This Girl’s In Love With You
09. Glory Of Love
10. Only The Lonely
11. Misty Blue
12. Is That All There Is?