The idea of having an album that is filled completely with just covers might not be that appealing at first, or at least that’s what I thought, because when you like an artist, you want and expect to hear something that sounds and feels just like you know their style is.
Guestroom is a good example of such albums, and I needed lots of hours before starting to understand that even though these are covers, they are more than just that, they are songs made by other artists, performed in the way the band feels and understands them. So, what’s interesting about that? If you are new to these songs, you probably won’t notice anything interesting going on here, but if you by chance know some of the songs, it’s a chance to rediscover something you already know but seen from someone else’s perspective.
What’s more impressive though is the fact that these are songs that belong to very different styles and eras, and yet you will notice that they all end up sharing some very similar elements. This effort to offer unity through very different pieces is what makes this album stand away from other similar efforts. You don’t end up feeling that you’re listening a random playlist, you also don’t get the feeling that whoever is performing is just trying to sound in the exact same way the original song was performed. You can actually tell the difference that Dominique Durand’s well known vocal tone and accent gives to every song, which is one of the biggest selling points for those who fancy Ivy’s previous or later works.
This might not be a good source for 100% new material from the band, but makes for a fun and well done experiment. Also, this is a unique chance to get in touch with whatever gives them the inspiration to create their own music, and that’s already a damn good reason to embrace it as any other album they have come up with.
All things said, this is a fun listen. Is not the peak of their performance, of that I’m absolutely convinced, but is a solid effort and as such you can be sure that you will have fun times with it. Indie pop can rest assured, because Ivy is representing them well… once again.