After hearing The Beatles' "I Want To Hold Your Hand" in my mom's car at the tender age of 7, that electric charge of really feeling music for the first time ran through and around me. I had found it, my own secret world of enjoyment and wonder. Little did I know there were actually legions of Beatlemaniacs around the world experiencing that very same thing.
A few years ago, I made another "discovery" with Jason Falkner. His music made me feel 7 years old again; it touched me in the same way the Beatles had, moving me to an entirely new place within myself I never knew existed. Of course, I soon learned again that I was not the only one. There are Falknerds around the world, all experiencing in his music the same way I am.
When I heard that Jason was working on an entire album of Beatles covers, a huge grin emerged in anticipation. The music of two of my favorites finally colliding head on was an exciting prospect. I very much enjoyed Jason's other covers, for he stays true to the original artist while skillfully slipping in his own nuances to make it his own. I found it refreshing when I heard his Beatles cover album was going to be all instrumental. For a band as extensively covered as the Beatles, taking an unconventional approach in covering their music is, I feel, an important way of keeping the music fresh.
But Jason's voice is a true hallmark of his music, and my personal favorite. I was wondering how much I would really enjoy a Jason Falkner song without Jason Falkner's voice. I was also curious of how much I could really enjoy a cover of songs I know inside and out; how new could they possibly sound? And, in all honesty, I was skeptical of how I, a devout Beatles fan, would react to covers of their songs by anyone, even by Jason. I am basically a critic of any Beatles covers I hear. (In my opinion there are only a handful worth any recognition at all.) If he strayed too far from the mark, it would be disrespectful; if he hit them dead on, it'd just be plagiarism. Sure I love all Jason's other covers, but this is the Beatles.
I must say, I breathed a sweet sigh of relief when I popped in my promotional copy of "Bedtime With The Beatles," courtesy of the great people at Sony Wonder. A true au teur artist, you can hear Jason in every single one of these songs, but the essence of the Beatles originals is never lost. I know he intentionally sought to go this route, and I'm happy to say he successfully pulls it off with this album.
It starts off with a sleepy keyboard rendition of "Blackbird," appropriately setting the mood for the rest of the album. There are some pleasant surprises throughout, one of which being a clever loungey version of "And I Love Her." While it is great to be able to focus on the actual music of these Beatles songs without lyrics, sometimes it's frustrating not to be able to hear Jason's sweet vocals soaring over the music. But then during "Mother Nature's Son" and "Michelle," you'll hear that it's not all instrumental. No contest, my personal favorite is "If I Fell," with a romantic, heartfelt touch that pulls you in and doesn't let go.
Baby will love this album, almost as much as you will. For lovers of the Beatles and Jason Falkner, it doesn't get much better than this.