Haley Reinhart, the ex-American Idol contestant, may have fallen off your radar, but it looks like she’s been working some magic behind the scenes. “What’s that Sound?”, a compilation album of 1960s covers, brings out all of her talent, in representing some damn good classics.
The beginning is actually where the album mostly falls flat. “Let’s Start”, one of her three originals, intros the album with a poor attempt at a pop song that feels very awkward atypical of Reinhart. As the second and third tracks play on, there are only hints of what is to come.
It is in “The Letter” and “Can’t Find My Way Home” that sound most like the modern versions of the style she’s been covering. These tracks are great for something contemporary in the area of bluesy guitar strumming, but it is not until “White Rabbit” that the album begins to hold its prize.
Where Reinhart really excels is with a rough and raw, ever-powerful voice in a rock or bluesy setting. In fact, perhaps her rise to stardom is owed to her cover of “House of the Rising Sun”, which, dare I say is as compelling as the original. So for Reinhart to create a pack of songs that deliver 60s classics with her untamed voice, this album soars.
‘White Rabbit” strikes an incredible turn in this album, instantly shifting the interest into her mad and powerful voice. While “White Rabbit” is a bit darker and dauting, the album still only gets better from here. “Somewhere in Between”, actually an original, feels like a convincing 60s lost hit with its smooth and heavy sound. From this point on, Reinhart completely nails all the slow sways, lovely soul, and rock vibes from one classic to another. “Words of Love” is the best song on the album. It’s thanks to her killer vocals that she entirely demonstrates an appropriation to cover these songs.
Reinhart really belongs in this field of music, and has created gnarly original sound with Scott Bradlee (of Post Modern Jukebox) and Casey Abrams. While it’s hard to tell if she’s any good at creating original work, Reinhart aptly revives classic hits with a proper sense of style, including Sinatra, Mamas and the Papas, The Turtles and The Zombies. “What’s That Sound?” makes for a great question, and Haley Reinhart has made a great sound for herself.
For Listeners of: The Doors, Eli “Paperboy” Reed, Leon Bridges