When I first came across this CD, I thought, “Great, another covers album. Is there no more creativity left in the world?” I’ve always thought it was a little bold for today’s artists to take on the best of the best. But upon playing the album, Beck’s opening cover of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat” wasn’t a disappointment at all. So I thought, “Maybe this was just a lucky shot.” Up next was a cover of one of my favorite bands, The Kinks, done by The Kooks, which turned out to be another job well done. Another song that deserves to be mentioned is Lily Allen’s cover of The Clash’s “Straight to Hell.” Seeing as though her godfather is The Clash’s own Joe Strummer, this cover was a little less random.
As I kept listening, I was only surprised by more good covers. This album features artists: The Hold Steady, Hot Chip, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Franz Ferdinand, Duffy, Estelle, Rufus Wainwright, Scissor Sisters, Peaches, Adam Cohen, Elbow, The Like, and TV on the Radio. Being covered we have, respectively: Bruce Springsteen, Joy Division, The Ramones, Blondie, Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Roxy Music, Iggy Pop, Leonard Cohen, U2, Elvis Costello, and David Bowie.
This album has some of the biggest names in the industry with covers of even bigger names in the industry. In researching a bit, the most respectful aspect of this compilation is that the classic artists personally selected a track of their own and asked a chosen artist to cover that song. I can only imagine what that feels like; that in itself is an honor to any musician. Not only did these covers capture the essence of today’s artists, the covers still manage to hold on to essence of the past.
Not only is this a great compilation, it’s for a great cause. The organization War Child put this album together along with Astralwerks Records as a type of fundraiser. War Child is an appreciated charity that provides aid to the children of war-ridden countries around the world.
More information about War Child can be found at: warchildheroes.com