|Have I The Right 10" EP, Miki Lamarr
Blue Light Records BLR 45101 6
About a year ago, my buddy at Blue Light Records (Finland) and I were emailing back and forth as I was in the planning stages of shooting my first "real" promo video for my band. (Long story short, it's tough to shoot a video when the whole band is homelier than a hog's back side).
My buddy sent me a link to video by a young Finnish singer by the name of Miki Lamarr. I'll tell you this for nothing, she is most definitely a bit of eye candy! (for those that don't understand my American slang, it means she's REALLY PRETTY!)
The aforementioned video is a modern take on the old Honeycombs hit "Have I The Right". While not rockabilly in any sense of the word, I'll give credit where it's due. The song features Mika Railo from the band RED HOT on slappin' upright bass (as well as the rockin' talents of Jari Metsberg on guitar and Juha Takanen on drums). The combination of these rockin' cats backing Miss Lamarr is truly enjoyable!
From my understanding, Miki & Co. have been working on a full length CD of mostly covers for Blue Light. About 6 weeks ago, my buddy at BL sent me a 10" vinyl EP of 4 of the upcoming songs (including "HAVE I THE RIGHT")...and since you've read this far, you might as well finish reading what I think about this release!
For starters, the cover. Like I said, Miki Lamarr is 31 flavors of FINE LOOKING! and she has a voice to match. She used to front a Finnish band called Miss Treatment. In researching info on her for this review, I came across a thread where some of her bandmates allegedly refer to this project as "ABBAbilly". That's actually not a bad way to describe it. Let's face it, ABBA is one of those secret guilty pleasures we all share. Their music was infectious. I dunno...maybe the fact that my mum was Swedish led me to enjoy them more. Regardless, they sold A LOT of records...so they were doing SOMETHING right!
The choice of material on this EP isn't your usual group of covers. From The Honeycombs to Johnny Burnette to Faron Young to Buddy Holly, she's covering some good stuff. Leading off with "Have I The Right", you know you're in for some very pop-oriented sounds. Don't let that put you off; it's good stuff and the musicianship and production are top notch. One listen and this track is going to get stuck in your head. The guitar solo is one that pickers all over will be having fun with.
Next up is Miss Lamarr's take on the Johnny Burnette song "Kiss Me". This is given a more rockabilly feel than the original. Miki duets with Finnish singer Pete Boy Salmi (from the band The Butterfingers) for a very nice effect. Again, Miki's voice is right on top of things and the band is spot on. This is another one of those songs that'll get stuck in your head...and a lot of "pop" songs tend to do that. But given the 'billy' treatment, it seems to make the song more 'believable'.
Flip the disc over and the first song your treated to is a wonderful take on Faron Young's "Stay Love". The band rocks harder than the original and this works well for this track. Another version of this track was released on Blue Light's 6 CD set "Best of Blue Light Rockabillies". I dug it when I heard it on there and I still dig it! The production is a bit cleaner here and it showcases Miki's vocals and the band's performance better. Again, you're gonna find yourself humming this when you least expect it.
The disc closes out with Miki's take on Buddy Holly's "Wishing". I'm torn by this one. The modern feel on this is nice...but it has a Nashville quality to it that doesn't sit right with me. It's a gorgeous version...but if feels too modern for my particular liking. My girlfriend loves it...so as all men know, this means I'm wrong. You'll probably find yourself singing this one in the shower. It's always been a great song and this version IS good...just a bit slower and more soulful. Still, very infectious. Just writing about it has the song popping into my head!
All in all, this is a great little EP that you'll find yourself listening to over and over. Pressed on high quality vinyl (kudos to Blue Light Records!), the sound quality is excellent. The choice of pressing it as a 10" rather than compressing the songs to fit a 7" is also especially nice. Gives more cover space to Miki Lamarr's exceptional good looks...which will, at the very least, give the guys (and maybe some of the gals) something to ogle while enjoying these songs.
Miki Lamarr is a damned good singer and she has some great musicians backing her on this release. I get the feeling we'll be hearing a lot more great music from her in the future, so get in on the ground floor with this one. It's good stuff!
Reviewed by Memphis Mike, 2012