HEADLESS HEROES: The Silence Of Love (Names Records)


Posted on Nov 20th 2008 01:38 am

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Headless Heroes: Silence Of Love

The Silence Of Love
Names Records 2008
10 Tracks. 33mins29secs

Once the preserve of long-forgotten lounge artists adored by your mum, who would deliver their career-low performance with as much passion as a French public servant on his way back to work at the end of a week-long strike, the thing conveniently dropping just before Christmas, cover albums have become something of a must-do exercise for more adventurous artists in recent years, lead by the likes of Susanna Wallumrød (twice) or Cat Power to name but two.

Enter Headless Heroes, a project put together by New York-based A&R Eddie Bezalel, who was notably involved in Mark Ronson’s recycling exercise Version. Here, he surrounded himself with a handful of musicians, including vocalist Alela Diane, whose wonderful debut folk album, The Pirate’s Gospel, released two years ago, charmed its way into the finest record collections, Josh Klinghoffer, Woody Jackson, Joey Waronker, Mike Green, Gus Seyffert, Leo Abrahams and Mike Boldger, and put the projects in the hands of producer Hugo Nicholson. Avoiding obvious choices, Bezalel and Nicholson, with additional help from David Holmes, have collected more or less obscure songs from people as diverse as The Jesus & Mary Chain (Just Like Honey), Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds (Nobody’s Baby Now), The Gentle Soul (See My Love), I Am Kloot (To You), Vashti Bunyan (Here Before), Juicy Lucy (Just One Time), Philamore Lincoln (The North Wind Blew South), Linda Perhacs (Hey, Who Really Cares) and Jackson C. Frank (Blues Run The Game). Dressed in folk attires, with occasional bursts of electric guitars, these songs are given a slight sixties relief which suits Alela Diane’s voice to perfection. The result is overall rather beautifully put together and songs such as True Love Will Find You In The End, Blues Run The Game or Hey, Who Really Cares or See My Love are wonderfully delicate and evocative, while Just One Time and To You, although more polished than the respective originals, retain some of their magic. On Nobody’s Baby Now, the Bad Seeds’ dark overtones are given a much warmer piano finish, while Vashti Bunyan’s Here Before, from her sophomore album, is a much more luxurious and rich affair, and The North Wind Blew South, the most ambitious track here, is drenched in strings and given a soft shine reminiscent of Lee Hazelwood’s collaborations with Nancy Sinatra or Suzy Jane Hokum.

This album is a rather successful offering, with overall well-chosen songs and subtle production. The only faux pas here is to be found on the somewhat soul-less and floppy version of Just Like Honey, but this doesn’t throw The Silence Of Love off course. While this project relies on the considerable musicianship gathered (most of the musicians have played with some of the biggest names around), it is actually Alela Diane who carries the record with grace and elegance, and she certainly does a fine job of it all.


Headless Heroes (MySpace) | Names Records
Buy: CD | iTunes

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