The Overtones, a doo-wop boy band, were plucked from obscurity in a manner more akin to a movie than reality. Supposedly they were discovered while singing during their tea break at their old job as decorators, and to go along with their unlikely break is equally unlikely success.
The ‘Platinum Version’ of debut album Good Ol’ Fashioned Love that has been re-released features three bonus tracks from more familiar and modern artists. Of the three covers (Adele’s ‘Rolling in the Deep’, Rihanna’s ‘Only Girl in the World’ and er, Madcon’s ‘Beggin’’ [Ed – ‘Beggin” was originally popularised by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons however was recently reintroduced to the mainstream by Madcon’s half-arsed cover]) it’s the cover of Rihanna’s hit that stands out most, with the deep bass voice of Lachie Chapman on lead vocals complementing the higher tones of the four other members as well as the understated backing drums and piano.
On the other hand ‘Rolling in the Deep’ suffers by comparison to the grandstanding original, as it lacks the emotional and percussive punch of Adele and the doo-wopping makes it all sound slightly ridiculous.
The original album songs are mainly covers as well with only three of the fifteen being written by the band. The songs chosen are hardly classics and The Overtones don’t change that. Lead vocalist Tim Matley fails to inject many of songs with any real emotion and he sounds like a cheap man’s Michael Buble.
With the instrumentation on the album very much a secondary feature on many of the songs surely designed to give the vocals chance to shine, sadly they don’t.
There are some bright spots; lead single ‘Gambling Man’ is a bouncy, breezy affair with the trumpets that create an effective backing giving Matley’s vocals an environment in which they can deliver.
The songs where Lachie Chapman leads the vocals or features prominently are generally a cut above as his bass adds a different dimension; in particular he and Matley work well together on ‘Say What I Feel.’ But generally the album is a schmaltzy affair and rarely anything more than mediocre.