Pianist Walt Wagner has found a way to make alt-rock standards, of a sort, fresh again. His new album, Reworks, out today on Sub Pop, sees the performer tackle numbers from Fleet Foxes, Prince, and My Bloody Valentine with ease.
Opening with a run at a DJ Shadow number, Wagner works his way around "Desiree" by The Left Banke, infusing the chamber pop classic with some real jazz spunk. Elsewhere, a stab at "I Only Said" sees the melody fully revealed in the 1991 number from Loveless, the My Bloody Valentine composition a real highlight of Reworks, while the spry "1901" from Phoenix is here tossed off with a surprising lightness of touch from Wagner. Still, that said, the clear standout cut from Reworks is Walt Wagner's lush take on "Purple Rain" from Prince.
Less a curiosity and more of a sort of successful reclamation of the hooks and melodies behind a few numbers from the college rock canon, Reworks is a winning recasting of familiar music. Reworks is out today on Sub Pop.
[Photo: Creative Living]