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Jon Burrows

Elvis Found Alive

Review by Gary Hill

This is music from the documentary of “Elvis Found Alive.” I received the DVD of that, but we don’t do negative reviews at MSJ and the whole schlock of presenting that thing as a documentary kept me from being able to give it a positive review. It also cast doubt on any potential for credibility for the previous documentary, Paul McCartney Really is Dead, which I previously reviewed at MSJ. Frankly, had I seen this new DVD first, I’d never have been able to give that one a positive review because only Joel Gilbert’s reputation made me think that one might be true. Now that he’s shot that in the foot, the follow up is worthless. I guess you could say he “jumped the shark.”

Looking just to the product at hand, though, this CD, it’s a different story. Jon Burrows who is apparently and Elvis impersonator recorded a number of songs in a manner he thinks Elvis would have done them, were the “documentary” true. I should say, I really don’t like Elvis, but I like a lot of this. Fans of the man will probably really enjoy this set. There is some cool stuff here.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2012  Volume 2 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Every Breath You Take

Take the old school Elvis rhythm section and sound and turn it towards the Police classic and you’ll have a great idea of what this tune is like.

Heartbreak Hotel
There’s an almost metal sound to this version of the Elvis classic. The pace seems extra slow, though – almost like it’s being pulled back. It’s pretty good, though.
Lisa Marie
A mellow balladic cut, this is pretty, but also seems too slow.It's an original number.
After Loving You
This is set in a cool rock and roll groove that works pretty well. I love the horn section and some of the great retro piano playing. It’s a cool tune with a lot of soul.
Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'
Here we get an Elvis take on Michael Jackson, but frankly, this really doesn’t feel like Elvis to me. It’s got some cool funky bits in the arrangement, but it's really pretty awkward and weird.
Do You Know Who I Am?
A mellow ballad, this is too slow and too sedate to really work well, but Burrows sounds like Elvis on this tune.
Big Boss Man
This rocker works better than some of the rest of the material here and has some killer slide guitar playing.
The Dance
Piano opens this and strings come in over the top. This works out to an almost R & B groove. It’s a good tune and actually one of the highlights of the set with suitably retro sounding instrumentation. There’s a more powered up section later in the track that works quite well.
Reconsider Baby
This is a killer blues tune. It’s got a real modern blues vibe to it and this really works well. I love the synthesizer solo mid-track. I don’t like Elvis Presley, but I like this.
Blue Hawaii
Here’s a take on the Elvis classic. I’ve never been a big fan of this, so it should be no surprise that I’m not blown away. This seems too stripped down and too slow, even compared to the original.
That's All Right Mama
I like the modern funky groove brought to this Elvis classic. This is definitely one of the highlights of the set.
Right Here Waiting
This isn’t bad. It’s definitely modern in form and format and is pretty effective.
Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Another Elvis classic, they bring a real modern rock texture to this. It makes for an interesting twist, complete with a spoken section.
Hawaiian Wedding Song
This is just plain weird. The vocals seem wrong and the modern pop rock twist on the arrangement seems especially hokey.
Elvis is Back Rap
Well, this pretty much says what it is, and "bizarre" is the description. It includes loops from the movie set to a weird backdrop.
 
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