If you love vintage pop/rock, the odds are awfully strong that you’re going to know more than a song or two featured on the new instrumental cover album from Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara, Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope from Pop, Rock & Soft Rock, released in 2019 and out now everywhere independent music is sold and streamed. In Timeless, Markoff and Lazzara, with some assistance from pianist Allison Brewster Franzetti, get back to the basics of melodicism whilst never holding back when a divine harmony finds its way into the mix, and though theirs isn’t the only LP you should be listening to this February, it’s definitely one of the better to emerge out of the indie market in recent times.
STEVE MARKOFF: https://www.lazzarkoff.com/
There’s an excellently progressive fluidity to this tracklist, with one song tending to flow into the next without a lot of rigidness in the transition. “Havana” leads us into “If You Could Read My Mind,” a moving “The Way We Were” and “Annie’s Song” without ever skipping a beat, and while some tracks like “American Girl” offer a bigger fever pitch than others, none of this material overshadows the content sitting directly next to it.
PATRICIA LAZZARA: https://www.patricialazzaraflutist.com/
The textured melodies in “Titanium,” “Yesterday” and “Wonderful Tonight” were some of the finest moments in the entirety of the album from my perspective, and not just because of the production quality they exhibit alone. The detail in these songs lends so much emotional agency to the narratives that are only suggested now in the absence of lyrics, and though Markoff and Lazzara get a boost from behind the soundboard in tracks like “Your Song,” their performances never sound as though they’re being propped up by an artificial source located within the studio (quite the opposite, actually).
I really hope that Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara hit the road in support of Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope from Pop, Rock & Soft Rock sometime in 2020. They prove that, alongside Franzetti at least, they’ve got the chops to make some incredible harmonies seemingly out of thin air, and even when the music is familiar to us, it doesn’t sound like something that is being churned out of a machine with the only goal being rooted in greed and making a quick buck. These musicians have no time for such trite nonsense, and to experience their energy in a stage capacity would likely only solidify the status they’ve achieved for themselves with the release of this stellar record.
Cover albums are hit and miss ninety-nine out of a hundred times, but Steve Markoff and Patricia Lazzara score an undisputed slam dunk with Timeless – Hits of Love and Hope from Pop, Rock & Soft Rock that definitely lives up to the hype it’s been receiving from the American indie press since its initial release back in 2019. With a new decade now in motion, this LP retrospectively looks at a history of pop/rock still very much in the process of evolving today, and if you’re as much of an audiophile as I am, it’s a tough listen to beat.