Oh my FSM. This classical music blogger sums it up perfectly. A marvelous analysis of everything that is wrong with Renée Fleming’s new CD, Dark Hope.
The same mistakes are repeated all over the record – Band of Horses’ sparse ballad “No One’s Gonna Love You” is transformed into a half-hearted syrupy mess. Willy Mason’s naïve “Oxygen” becomes overworked with the addition of synthesized strings.
What do you think would happen if you tried to put these strings on one of Renée’s classical albums? How is it ok here? Is there a good reason to accept lower standards because it’s a rock record?
No, there is no good reason, and that’s what forms the glaring fault at the heart of this project. Compliments for Renée’s voice, but what the hell were they thinking with these arrangements? They’re timid and totally without character. As with any other cover of a song, the artist has to have a point in doing it in the first place – what are you trying to say that wasn’t said in the original? Somebody grabbed some indie tunes for Renée to sing and did nothing to make her versions count. Coming on the heels of what I consider one of Renée Fleming’s finest CDs (Verismo), Dark Hope is just embarrassing. The bright hope is that they won’t try this again.
“A hope in the dark: Renée Fleming’s rock album” (Proper Discord)