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Customer Reviews

Official Liner Notes

The game plan for the debut album by Yep seems straightforward enough. Al Chan (of the Rubinoos) and Mark Caputo (of Belleville) teamed up and cherry-picked some of their favorite songs from all over the pop continuum. They demonstrated great taste and impressive record collections in the process, creating a songwriters’ universe in which Don Everly, Ray Davies, Woody Guthrie, and Elton John stand shoulder to shoulder with Joe Pernice, Justin Currie, Teitur Lassen, Richard Buckner and Alan Wauters. The songs (ten covers and one Caputo original) are presented in rich, uncluttered arrangements. Around them guitars twang and jangle, occasionally kick up some distortion but never enough to kill the mellow buzz. Producer John Cuniberti finds the exact right balance between technologically pristine and organically natural.

And then those voices enter the picture, and suddenly nothing seems straightforward anymore. The vocals of Chan and Caputo wind around each other in such stunning harmony that they invoke a sense of utter timelessness. It’s like the Everly Brothers smashcut into a new millennium. And that’s not to suggest an old-fashioned approach. There’s no rose-tinted grasp at the past here, just as there’s no auto-tuned plasticity begging for mainstream approval; this is a simple, unadorned flexing of talent that should intimidate other singers and delight everyone else.

Some music just seems to stand outside of time, completely impervious to passing trends and fleeting style. It makes its own rules, defines its own sense of cool. A pantheon of greats already inhabits such rarefied air. Is it possible that Chan and Caputo have joined them? Yep. Yep. A thousand times Yep.

Andrew McEvoy

Once

Truly an eclectic album. With classic like Rocket Man and great change in melody with Just Getting by, reminds me a lot of the same style and vocals of the Refreshments, prior to Roger Clyne. The liner notes hit nail on the head with comment of some music seems to just stand outside of time. You will find as you listen to album, that the name 'Yep' is very fitting.

Loving covers album from a Rubinoo and a Bellevile

Though Jon Rubin and Tommy Dunbar, the two remaining founders of the Rubinoos, often refer to Al Chan as “the new guy,” he’s entering his fourth decade of playing and singing with the band. His partner in Yep is the singer, songwriter and guitarist Mark Caputo of the pop-meets-Americana band Belleville. Together they’ve lovingly recorded an eclectic collection of ten cover songs (and one Caputo original), ranging from hit singles by Elton John (“Rocket Man”), the Kinks (“Waterloo Sunset”), and the Everly Brothers “So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad),” to lesser-known titles by deeply respected songwriters that include Richard Buckner, Alan Wauters and Justin Currie. Ironically, the indie nature of this album makes the better-known songs the more daring picks, challenging Chan and Caputo to find original approaches to chestnuts. Happily, the duo is quite up to the task.

“Rocket Man” retains the dramatic build from a quiet intro to a rock ‘n’ roll finish, but John’s bluesy piano is replaced here with the singer-songwriter strum of acoustic guitars, and Yep’s bass-drums-guitar and duet vocals are heavier, embellished by spacey flourishes of Dave Zirbel’s steel. “Waterloo Sunset” is sung in close harmony to acoustic guitars, giving the song a more melancholy end-of-the-day vibe than the signature single, and “So Sad,” though sticking closely to the Everly’s harmony style, replaces the original’s tremolo guitar with steel, creating a deeper country feel. It’s particularly great to hear Don Everly’s songwriting highlighted in the company of both commercial legends and underground heroes (and a bit of both with Jeff Tweedy’s melody applied to Woody Guthrie’s “Hesitating Beauty”).

The uncertainty and yearning of the hits also flows through the insular world of Justin Currie’s “Make it Always Too Late,” the uneasily accepted inevitability of Teiture’s “Sleeping with the Lights On,” and the tearstained power-pop heartbreak of Joe Pernice’s “Crestfallen” (note to self: check out the Pernice Brothers’ 1998 debut, Overcome by Happiness). Producer John Cuniberti balances the clarity of modern recording with the warmth of DIY; on “Noise and Confusion,” for example, the track retains the thick center of Alan Wauters’ original, but the voices and instruments are given more definition than Wauters’ muddier production. Singing together, Chan and Caputo give these covers a fresh voice while drawing lines back to the originals’ legacies; they’re respectful but not slavish, just as fine covers should be. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

Once, Yep
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