I’ve been following Halestorm for quite some time now. Lzzy Hale is one of the biggest names in rock, her range is incredible and she has such a raw tone. Every few years, they put out an EP of covers in a series called Reanimate. In 2020, they came in hot with the album that I didn’t know I needed to survive quarantine: Reimagined, out as of August 14, 2020 via Atlantic Records. The effort has four of my favorite Halestorm songs redone with a twist, a new single featuring Amy Lee (Evanescence) and a cover of Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You.”
The EP starts with “I Get Off,” the Reimagined version begins with a heavy twist on this classic. The highlight for me is the breakdown. Holy bass overload. There is so much going on and it gets raw and heavy, but that thundering bass was enough to get me pumped for the rest of the album.
I love that the band stayed true to the original of “I Miss the Misery,” with Hale’s a cappella wail opening the track before throwing you through a curve and coming in with an acoustic guitar to replace that iconic riff that leads the song. The verse is so stripped down and highlights the vocals in a big way. I love the feel of the breakdown almost as much as I love Hale holding back on hitting that extra raw, high note until the last line.
“I Am the Fire” was my favorite track off Into the Wild Life and I think it was one that slipped by a lot of people. The stripped-down version on Reimagined may be even better. The highlight of the EP was always going to be the vocals, but this effort drives home how talented Hale is when you pull back the heaviness of a track. “Break In” is exactly what you would think it would be from a duet between Hale and Amy Lee. The harmonies in the last chorus give me chills every time and are some of the best I’ve ever heard in my life.
Previously I thought “I Will Always Love You” was campy and overdone, but as soon as the opening a cappella run hit, it had my attention. The gritty, raw vocals add so much of a different feel to this song and the emotion in Hale’s voice is real, adding an extra element to a song that has touched a lot of people over the years. And of course, she knocks the famous key change out of the park. “Mz. Hyde” closes out the effort with a unique feel and aesthetic, almost like a heavy acoustic. The vocals are again gritty and heavy like the album version, layered over the more subtle background. It’s an impressive interpretation of one of the band’s biggest tracks and the sing-along feel of this version adds another unique element.
I’m not normally as excited about remakes as I was for this, and the EP is a solid reinterpretation of some classic Halestorm tunes, for sure.