Lee Aaron / Canada’s Metal Queen Continues To Surprise

Eighteen albums into her career, one might wonder where Lee Aaron was going to go next in her musical journey. She’s certainly been in a rich vein of form over the past decade, with five albums released since 2016. So, maybe it’s the obvious step for her now to deliver a selection of covers on a full album. Tattoo Me is a feisty 11-track release that includes a few surprises.

Lee Aaron – Tattoo Me (Metalville)

Release Date: 26 April 2024

Words: Paul Hutchings

Why a full-covers album, then? “The one thing I’d never done was a full-covers album,” Lee Aaron says. “It seemed like a really cool and super fun project to tackle at this point.” And when you are 61 years of age and have been in the industry for over four decades, why the hell not?

It is always interesting when an artist covers their peers. Do you try and reinvent those songs which in the main are classics, or do you stick more faithfully to the originals and just add your own stamp on them? On Tattoo Me, Aaron has done a bit of both, and it works to great effect.

Sean Kelly, Lee Aaron, John Cody and Dave Reimer
Sean Kelly, Lee Aaron, John Cody and Dave Reimer

Highlights? Well, the impressive reworking of Led Zeppelin’s What Is And What Should Never Be certainly stands out. Sean Kelly’s guitar work doesn’t attempt to emulate Jimmy Page, but he brings a sensitive piece of playing to the song.

Alongside Kelly, bassist Dave Reimer and drummer John Cody keep the time, locking everything in. But it’s Aaron’s trademark smoky delivery that makes the track that little bit different.

There’s a fine version of Elton John’s Someone Saved My Life Tonight to enjoy. Rich and soulful, one can’t help but slip into a trance as this classic track is given a beautiful workout. It’s a brave choice, considering the enormity of the original, but it works.

Perhaps less obvious, a pulsing cover of Hole’s Malibu and Connection by Elastica provides the necessary curve balls needed to surprise and enhance the release.

Picking songs with female singers may seem the natural route, but Aaron brings her own vocal qualities to both. She does this in style on Even It Up, a pacy and vibrant version of a lesser-known Heart song, whilst the ease with which she and the band tackle Fleetwood Mac’s Go Your Own Way makes the song’s inclusion almost essential.

Faithful in many ways, there’s always something on a cover album that stands out. Each song has a little twist, even if it’s not immediately obvious.

Aaron’s slight snarl on the Alice Cooper epic Is It My Body gives it the spark, whilst the smouldering version of The Pusher, originally written by Hoyt Axton but made famous by Steppenwolf and Nina Simone sees Aaron’s vocals fit like a glove.

Finishing off with a rousing version of The Undertones Teenage Kicks, this is a pleasing and enjoyable release that breathes new life into some old favourites.

On first take, one might think this is more for the dedicated fan, but with the variety on offer, Tattoo Me surely has something for everyone.

Sleeve Notes

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