Reviews - Week 44




A Tribute to the Smiths (various artists)

Romantic and Square is Hip and Aware

Matinee Records

The Smiths are the kind of band who inspire devotion and demand loyalty from their fan's for whom the music speaks with more empathy than any other language. With a trademark of clever lyrics sang with unerring conviction The Smiths have carved themselves a unique place in the history of music. Needless to say the brave matinee artists paying tribute to this legendary band had their work cut out.

The bands who include Pipas, Lovejoy, and Simpatico to name but a few, met this challenge head on. Although melodically there is not a song on this compilation, which is a million miles from, the original version each brought a snippet of their own to the song, which they were covering. Changes in tempo, emphasis and styles contribute to a multitude of different flavours.

The pines song is a characteristic acoustic slowed down version of "Ask". Meanwhile Pale Sunday manage to give a slight Brazilian feel to "I know its over" and the Slipslide version of "Please Please Please let me get what I want" is sung in a hushed whisper becoming a gentle but heartbreaking lullaby.

For me though the highlight comes from the Lucksmiths cover of "there is a light that never goes out". The mixed male and female vocals along with the fastly strummed guitars ring out with a passion as the band takes hold of the song and makes it their own. The album is not full of pale imitations, but who needs that anyway? Instead expect to find old songs being told from a new angle with a strength of feeling that the artists involved in this project must be given credit for.

Rachel Queen





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