There aren’t many artists within the lexicon of classic rock as iconic as the likes of Sting, Foreigner, Paul McCartney and Queen, and in Origins – Singers and Songs That Made Me, Jeff Coffey is giving their music a second look through the lens of his own artistry. Coffey has lays into “Waiting for a Girl Like You” and “Who Wants to Live Forever” as though he were filling in alongside the original band, but with the help of an able supporting cast – including Michael Omartian and a special guest appearance by Payton Taylor in “It’s Only Love” – he manages to make every bit of material here his.
MORE ON JEFF COFFEY: https://www.jeffcoffey.com/
Despite the intimidating nature of compositions like “This Is It,” “New York Minute” and “Baby It’s Tonight,” we don’t hear any hesitation from Jeff Coffey as he croons his way through the tracklist. You don’t have to be a professional critic to pick up on the personal affection he has for this content, and more specifically, the intimate connection he feels with the narrative behind “Maybe I’m Amazed” and “Fooled Around and Fell in Love;” you simply need to be a pop fan who demands a little more substance out of a cover album.
The tension we encounter as the hook rolls into place for “When We Dance” and “Ask the Lonely” doesn’t go unutilized – in fact, it plays a big part in how we interpret the bright melodic catharsis at the end of the long dark tunnel. The tonal definition is given a VIP treatment everywhere we listen here, allowing for instrumental intricacies to influence the steady flow of the music as much as Coffey’s own execution does, and in a track like “Maggie May” or “Back on My Feet Again” especially, it makes it possible for us to feel swept away by the collective wallop and fully engaged with the star from start to finish.
I would have liked a little more acoustic material on this record than we ultimately got, but at the same time, this is just another reason why Jeff Coffey should consider developing a sequel to Origins in the future. He’s got a knack for making some of the most familiar songs in classic rock radio sound millennial-friendly, and based off of the success he experiences on the strength of this tracklist, I think he would be foolish to dismiss any opportunity to keep the buzz coming.
Listeners don’t need to be familiar with Jeff Coffey, his story or the heroes he’s honoring in Origins – Singers and Songs That Made Me, but those who are will probably rank this as being some of his best content to ever see widespread release. Coffey gets us started in “Ask the Lonely” and doesn’t stop kicking butt all the way through to “I’ll Be Home for Christmas,” and while it’s probably the most eclectic disc I’ve reviewed this September, Origins just might be the most focused as well. This guy knows who he is, and above that, what he wants to play – believe it or not, that makes him quite the diamond in the rough nowadays.
by Bethany Page