A cover song can reveal many things: for an artist, it might be influences or ambitions, and for the song itself, it might be an unknown emotion that was lurking within, waiting for discovery. On his collection of covers, "Keeper of the Flame," Irish folkie Luka Bloom manages to mine 12 interesting songs and come up with possibly the most banal versions of them all.
The CD starts off with yet another take on Dylan's "Make You Feel My Love," which is a raw, touching love song that Bloom manages to wash clean of its yearning and pain. Garth Brooks did a better version. A perfectly fine singer and guitar strummer, Bloom never rises above the level of a good acoustic performer at the local coffee shop, even as he runs through The Cure's "In Between Days," Radiohead's "No Surprises" and Joni Mitchell's "Urge for the Going." Some personality, please? Somewhere?
In that all-too-expected touch of quirk, the CD ends with ABBA's "Dancing Queen," making for a silly finish to a mundane effort.