EP: Hallelujah EP
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Label: Arena Complex Records
Written by: Alan Ho
This is the first independent release from the Nashville pop-rockers from their recently formed Arena Complex Records and it proves you can breathe some new life into an already successful formula. Known for their excellent take on everything good that is about arena pop/rock, Safetysuit may be showing off a general preview of what’s to come next year when they are expected to release a new studio album, a followup to this year’s These Times.
The biggest highlights on the four track EP begin with an awesome orchestral version of “Anywhere But Here,” which was featured on their breakout 2008 full length debut Life Left to Go. Maybe it is because I appreciate classical music, but when you listen to the original alongside this version, I may have to lean towards the new version as the better one. It is beautifully arranged and makes the lyrics even more prominent, which is hard to do when you attempt to rehash one of your previous hits.
The second highlight is a very well done cover of the Leonard Cohen classic “Hallelujah.” Rather than try to cover the original or rehash the Jeff Beck version for the millionth time or even go after the version former American Idol Jason Castro did a few years back, SafetySuit puts their own spin on the timeless classic in their own way. At first it may seem a bit unrecognizable until about 10 seconds in and realize what the song is. Very smart, very well done and dare I say, uniquely SafetySuit.
The other two tracks in the EP is a wedding version of “Never Stop” and an acoustic version of “Let Go,” which if you have listened to the original version, one can say they took a big risk stripping the song down to its bare bones. But, in this case, it was done in brilliant fashion and may even sound like a brand-new track!
All in all, the EP is an excellent bridge for fans between These Times and what’s to come for this talented quartet from Nashville!