I’ll Cover You
"I'll Cover You" is Telly Leung's first solo album. The CD is a collection of some of his favorite songs arranged for jazz combo and string quartet to accommodate jazz and Musical Theater styles. What results is an eclectic interpretation of pop, Musical Theater and jazz standards that sooths and surprises the listener.
Telly Leung has a voice as sweet as honey that can inspire giggles as well as pathos. On this CD he gravitates toward sincerity and avoids arrogant displays of vocal power. These numbers won't hit the listener over the head. Unlike some of the original performers of these songs ("Papa Don't Preach," Madonna) -- his approach is gentle. These pieces complement each other and make the recordings sound like an intimate concert.
His mash-up of "Water is Wide" and "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is a blend of jazz and lyrical styles containing elements similar to those of Jason Robert Brown. "Galileo" stays true to the artistic intent of The Indigo Girls.
Leung's personal frustrations with the mess that we call life ring clear in this folksy prayer for knowledge. "I'll Cover You" also contains the famous duet from "Rent" of the same name. Leung recorded it as a candle-lit solo that sounds like a tender kiss.
Other pieces such as "I Can See Clearly Now" miss the mark. Although his artistry is flawless, the slow tempo and weak approach are inappropriate for the optimistic tune.
The most surprising performance on the CD is "Firework." "Firework" was made famous by a wailing Katy Perry and the swaying marshmallows of "Glee." It accomplishes in his version what Perry and "Glee" do not: sincerity through personal truth.
Perry is very exuberant, whereas Leung sings with the wisdom of personal experience. As with many of the selections on this CD, both interpretations are valid; Leung's choice is braver.
"I'll Cover You"