|Various Artists / Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To The Cure|
|Add Date:||2009-03-22|| ||Pull Date:||2009-05-24|| |
|Week Ending:||24 May||10 May||26 Apr||19 Apr||5 Apr||29 Mar|
Just Like Heaven – Collection By Captain Meno|
Cure singles covers. I picked this up and brought it home without realizing that it had been reviewed before by David McWade. I don’t know why he didn’t turn this in to Bill…or why it was still on the ‘to be reviewed section.’ Anyway, I decided I would give track descriptions of the tracks he skipped, (and ended up doing all of them) and I’ve attached his original review to the jewel case
I am a major Cure fan so I may have some stronger opinions than others. I think the collection is generally flat; not very inventive takes on the original. Most are pretty faithful adaptations, and those that dare to vary it up are usually more successful at creating something worthwhile; see Close To Me, A Strange Day, Friday I’m In Love…Those that are more traditional interpretations lack the passion, urgency, and lasting quality of the originals. No FCC's. I highlighted 6 that are pretty good. Your call.
1. Sped up Just Like Heaven, standard interpretation; guitars, synths, rhythmic guitars, male/female vocals, not that great.
2. Lovecats: Probably the most faithful cover on here; the guy has an awesome voice; Tom Waits meets modern Bob Dylan, a straightforward go at it, but it is still playful, catchy, and this one has a dark tinge to it.
3. Electro pop version of that song that you hate because it’s been so overplayed. Interesting…at least better than that 311 shit.
4. Ahh. Awful blink-182 esque pop punk with whiny vocals.
*5. This may be the only Cure song I actually am annoyed by, but this is a great interpretation; less upbeat than original, synthy washes, acoustic guitar, subtle percussion, instrumentation is muted in mix, but it works here.
*6. I really did appreciate this version of Jumping Someone Else’s Train. Slower, depressing, thick distorted guitars.
7. An example of fucking up. Boys Don’t Cry is a success because of the raw, urgency, and believable delivery of the original. This is lethargic, lazy, and does not fit for this song. This is like that one No Doubt song. Unless you need you some Boys Don’t Cry, there are more worthwhile selections on here.
*8. Tribal beats, grooving, lush organs/synths, guitars. Very cool. The original is well recorded but this illustrates how interesting they could have made it, too.
9. Dance indie by A-file darlings, The Rosebuds. Not a big fan of this. I guess an appropriately cheesy update of a cheesy song.
10. MIDI-ized Pictures of You. Not only is this ‘too digital’ sounding, but they also only covered the radio edit! fuck that. 8 minute original off Disintegration plz.
11. Let’s Go To Bed; pretty standard interpretation, vocals are nasally, bassz heavy, still manages to be fun and poppy like original
12. Never was a big fan of Catch; standard interpretation with female vocals
*13. A Night Like This – a great interpretation, don’t think this was a single either. Strings, light touches behind subtle percussion, warm vocals. Takes the original and takes the 80s out from it.
*14. 10:15 Saturday Night; less raw than original, obviously; almost trip hop, layered, lush instrumentation, never explodes like the original, but a nice slow burn.
*15. Oh yes…Love me some Pornography. A Strange Day is an awesome song; done justice here by Grand Duchy (half Black Francis). Distorted guitars, driving percussion, bumping bass; turns a desperate, clankering, inaccessible dirge into a dance hit. Well done.
16. Noisy distorted guitars open into a pop-punk take on High. The genre is not my favorite, but more palatable than the other pop-punk cover on here. Hidden track of Lovesong; slow piano version with pretty vocals, another pretty good version.
A tribute album to the ghosts of new wave, The Cure. A lot of this has a feel like some of the better work by My Favorite (and somewhat in the tradition of Nouvelle Vague), with songs by different bands with female (and some male) vocals sounding like the same voice. Some of the versions are not as good as the originals, and some are actually more imaginative and *better*. There is a real sense that the sound has been updated and not dated (often a clear sense of sophistication and thoughtfulness in the arrangements), at the same time the artists are not really taking liberty with altering the songs in any way in terms of 'plot' (with at least one notable exception, the *incredible* version of 10:15 Saturday night). The speed, instrumentation and sometimes the tone of the songs are altered, however. I would have liked more of a focus on less well-known songs, but what do you want. I'm going to focus only on the remarkable re-doings. Rec: 1,3,8,12,14,15|
1 Spry, pretty, quick and short, very fresh, rock structure, male female sung together, sense of sophistication. From Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me
3 This really has a My Favorite feel (male female sung separately), updated new wave of a commercial but pleasant hit, (there is another totally different version of this song at the end of track 16. From Disintegration
6,7 too slow. From Boys Don't Cry
8 This is almost trip-hop-rock, improvement over the original, makes me think of later Stereolab, but a bit more apathetic, worth the increased length. From The Head On The Door
12 Probably the closest to the original, a warm song, one of the Cure's best songs 'I used to try to catch her, but never even caught her name', more of a use of the synth-organ. From Kiss Me x 3
13 Very relaxed and thoughtfully done. From The Head On The Door
14 Incredible remake, slowed down, imaginative, dark-ish, seductive and climactic. Only 2 verses on this version, compared with 3 on the original.. This makes me want to research the band, The Poems. From Boys Don't Cry.
15 Longer version, and faster, too. Frank Black is involved with this version, very emotional in the delivery. From Pornography
(well, being about 2500 miles from Palo Alto right now it would be difficult for me to get the review into Bill. Usually Red West tapes the reviews on. I notice Captain Meno's declaration of my 'dereliction of duty' came up 4th when I googled my name. (thanks))