Los Angeles-based Renaissance dude Alan Bernhoft has written and performed music for films, children’s music, rootsy blues rock, Eastern European-influenced dance music and space-age crooning, according to his website. He’s also an actor, a voice-over artist and oh yeah, he’s portrayed John Lennon with Beatles tribute bands.
It’s that Lennon connection that Bernhoft mines quite successfully on the charming Beatlesque One, a 16-track collection that finds him performing original music in the style of the Fab Four. Taken as such, this may be the best Beatles LP since The Rutles, the Spongetones’ Beat Music or Utopia’s Deface The Music.
Things kick off nicely with the early Beatles-styled “Keep Your Hands Off My Baby,” a storming little number that comes off as a cross between “I Saw Her Standing There” and “Leave My Kitten Alone” (“Be Mr. Nice” is another number in a similar vein). In addition to aping Lennon’s vocal stylings, Bernhoft also manages to capture the McCartney whimsy on numbers such as “Everything is Fine,” the Beatles For Sale-ish “Be Here For Me” and the absolutely delightful “Sunshine Girl.”
Some of the tunes on Beatlesque One obviously emanate from Bernhoft’s love of kids’ music, such as the cutesy-poo “Playdate,” “Police Officer Sam” and “Chocolate Chip Cookie Rock,” which is baked with a “Roll Over Beethoven” batter (“Roll over Famous Amos and tell Mrs. Fields the news?”) At any rate, Beatlesque One is a cool little homage that’ll make Beatles fans grin.