What happens when two truly larger-than-life figures in country music decide to combine their powers? The answer is “the Unrighteous Brothers,” an unlikely-but-winning collaboration between Paul Cauthen and Orville Peck created for the express purpose of covering classic Righteous Brothers tunes.
“When I first heard Orville’s voice, I knew we’d sound good together,” Cauthen says in a release about the songs. “I’ve always wanted to cover some Righteous Brothers tunes, but it took time to find the person I could pull it off with.”
With Butch Walker and Beau Bedford’s (Texas Gentleman) production retaining the exhilarating rush of Phil Spector’s original, Cauthen and Peck’s version of “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling” is simultaneously ridiculous, thrilling, and sublime. Peck kicks things off with his vibrato-heavy baritone, while Cauthen brings his burly, debauched brand of soul to the party. When the momentum picks up for each soaring chorus, they naturally slide right into perfect harmony — seriously, it’s almost shocking how great these two lovable weirdos sound together.
Somehow, they find a way to take things even farther during the song’s bridge. Cauthen dashes off soulful trills like it’s nothing and Peck shows off his expansive, theater-kid range, the two trading shots like fighters circling the ring.
There’s also a melodrama-heavy cover of “Unchained Melody” — in other words, the only correct way to cover the song — that accompanies this release. Both recordings are available digitally now, and will also be sold as a limited edition 7-inch for Record Store Day’s “RSD Drops” on Saturday, September 26th.
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