Smooth Sailing by Evan Taylor Jones Review

A precursor to the release of his latest EP Sunray Sessions, this Queens of the Stone Age cover is a blend of classic rock and soul that could possibly be better than the original. With Jones’ edgy vocals and the addition of some interesting chromaticism, this track sets the tone for the EP. The heavy drums and passionate guitar riff of the original parlay with Jones’ affiliation with classic rock. But the underlying almost slap-bass feel, as well as Jones’ vocal prowess and the added chromaticism, allows the soulful potential of the track to shine through.

Probably what I enjoyed most about the track was the diverse harmonic progressions and devices that were used. For instance, after 3:40 there is an ascending chromatic progression that really takes the track to an interesting place. I also thought that the constant but subtle rhythmic changes were an improvement on the original. My only criticism of the track has to do with the back up singers on the lyric ‘smooth sailing’. Frankly I think they could have had a more prominent role than providing subtle harmony. With that melody and that long ‘ooooo’, the harmony needed to be punchier. Their microphones needed to be turned up for that.

All in all, I think this is a great track. Not just because the original song is well-written, but because of the soulful grooves that have been added into the cover, and I’ve gotta say this version surpasses the original to reside in a different realm that is completely its own. I give it 9/10.

You can listen to the track here

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For my interview with Evan Taylor Jones, click here


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