When you play the same songs 200 days a year, you’ll start to spice it up with new riffs, chords and lyrics, sometimes ones you wish you could have added to the original. The Classic Crime gets that chance. To celebrate their tenth anniversary as a band, they reinvented ten of their most well-known songs from each of the band’s four albums and rerecorded them for release, What Was Done, Vol. I.
Some of the tracks are moderately different (“God and Drugs”), but most sound like they were simply rerecorded with an acoustic guitar, percussion and a few string sections.
Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary here. Adhering to the original isn’t a bad thing, though; in fact, most of the songs sound just as good as they did as their previous releases. “Vegabonds” turns into an enjoyable acoustic sing-along. “Salt in the Snow” turns into a lovely ballad. “All the Memories,” a standout track, transforms a relatively underappreciated pop-rock song from their debut album into an incredible mixture of gentle melancholy and dreamy piano melodies.
Having each song stripped down gives each member of the band their own chance to shine. Most notable is drummer Paul “Skip” Erickson who is given a more noticeable role in the reworked versions of “You and Me Both” and “My Name.” Comparing the drums on the original versions of those two tracks show a clear progression in his talent.
If you have ever enjoyed The Classic Crime to any degree, pick up this album. Almost every track carries a similar tempo and mood, but they give a terrific retrospective of the band’s previous decade of history. The soft musings of What Was Done, Vol. I: A Decade Revisited beats a generic “best of” album any day.