erasing clouds

The Like Young, Six At Midnight

reviewed by dave heaton

Six at Midnight's artwork is spare a stark picture of duo/couple Amanda and Joe Ziemba on the cover, the song titles and songwriting credits on the back. And its title seems like it's probably descriptive: six songs recorded at midnight.

The Like Young's agenda has always been to take rock music back to its basics, and Six At Midnight finds them doing just that, albeit in a musical setting completely different from that of their previous releases (or, likely, their future releases). Here, instead of tapping into their own songwriting abilities, they're taking on six of their favorite pop songs from the '50s and '60s. They're really taking things back to basics, then; taking some great old songs and singing them in a very traditional, yet still uniquely Like Young way. The result is a magical little EP, a blessed side-trip that reminds you how many really great songs there are in the world, while also presenting the Like Young's own personal take on some of them.

The sound of the EP is itself magical voices and instruments glow in that late-night quiet sort of way. And the performances are just as much so. Starting with "Always Waitin'", a Mike Curb song originally sung by the Paris Sisters, the Like Young manage with two people and some instruments to conjure up the feeling of a big, involving love song, the kind that fills a room the second the jukebox needle falls on the record. The early Neil Diamond song "a Million Miles Away" is delivered gently, with a romantic mood (despite the song's sadness) and an enticing textured sound. Jeff Barry's "Our Love Can Still Be Saved" is sung especially passionately, with an appropriate tone of sensitivity, hope, and desire.

Minimalist versions of "Eddie My Love" and "I Love How You Love Me" both fantastic songs follow, and then the EP comes to a close with a riveting rendition of the 'lost' Beatles song "I'm in Love", sung beautifully over a lone piano. All of these songs are simple yet in the same way complex; they capture deep, real feelings.

Somehow on Six At Midnight the Like Young casually capture every facet of these songs the easy pleasures and the heartfelt feelings, not to mention the difference made in recording by the right setting. Six at Midnight offers a vivid portrait of a moment in time two people singing great songs together and also stands as a powerful reminder that great music is eternal.


this month's issue
about erasing clouds

Copyright (c) 2005 erasing clouds