Thursday, March 24, 2005

Asleep in Perfect Blue Buildings

I know alot of people aren't big on tribute albums, but unfortunately it's one of my musical buying weaknesses. One that's bitten me on the ass more times than I care to count. Not this time. This time I came out on top dammit.

Dead and Dreaming: An Indie Tribute to Counting Crows is one of the best tribute albums you're likely to find. I'm pretty certain I've never heard any of the bands on the album, which probably makes it a little easier to swallow. Each song is different in some way from the original Crows version, be it musically or vocally, with the sole exception of Holiday In Spain (covered by, funny enough, Number One Fan), which sounds EXACTLY like the original version. Perhaps the song with the biggest contrast is Rain King (covered by The International Language), they've slowed it down to where the song is a lullaby rather than the fast little number it is on August which really highlights Adam Duritz' lyrics. It's very jarring to hear the song like that, but after the first listen it feels as right as the Crows original version. The only song that I had reservations about was probably Mr. Jones (covered by Hidden In Plain View), my least favorite Crows song, mainly because it's incessant radio play just killed any message the song bears (at least for me), but the cover is a nice change, it's identifiable, but is far enough away from the original that it makes it enjoyable. Also of note is the tune Walkaways (covered by Boys Night Out), mainly because the original song lasts only a minute at best, containing one single verse. It is one of my favorite Crow tunes, and hearing the cover made it even moreso, it is just the one verse doubled, but this version is as passionate as the Crows original recording (still not as good as their live recording on Across A Wire however), and sounds excellent. My only complaint is that it is not placed behind the cover of A Long December (by Bayside), as that is how the songs are meant to be heard. but, overall it's a great album, and Crows fans should definitely pick it up.

After two days oflistening to this I went out and finally bought a replacement copy of August, it's good to have a listenable copy again, and I'm sure I'll be rotating the two in my CD player for the next few days. Unfortunately that doesn't bode well for some of my other recent music acqusitions, including the recently bought Hollywood Rose-The Roots of Guns N Roses. It has the original GNR demo,something I've wanted to own for awhile, it's only four songs, and they don't sound wonderful by any stretch of the word, but it's nice to add to my collection, and for it to be a real copy and not some crappy bootleg.


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