They open the song with solo piano instead of two guitars like the original, allowing the listener to hear all moving parts in one place. Moreover, the method of recording used for this introduction, and the addition of dissonant notes, makes the piano sounds natural and sophisticated. They alter the brass as well, manipulating the opening horn riff just enough to make it unique from the original, a trend that develops throughout the piece; similar sounding enough to create the same energy and feeling, but imaginative enough to gloat about its own knack.
The most unattainable disparity between this rendition and the 1979 version is the singing. Obviously, Maurice White’s vocal ability is nearly impossible to replicate. Instead of trying to perfect the falsetto, Panache Band singer Johan belts the lyrics out in a lower octave. And though at first this may seem like a cop-out, it adds a raspy strength to the vocal line that’s absent in the original. Besides, the overflowing brass section adequately compensates for any lacking high frequencies.
Lastly, they lay the icing on the funk cake with quietly lurking organ riffs throughout—a perfect wildcard addition to make the song their own.”
Listen to Earth, wind & Fire cover of SEPTEMBER by Johan on Reverbnation!