Have you ever felt embarrassed listening to one-hit wonders or pop gems of yesteryear? Fear not. Your favorite Indie superstars are giving the OK by joining in together for "Guilt By Association", a collection of songs by today's most exciting Indie talent re-interpreting their favorite guilty pleasure pop songs. Petra Haden delivers a soaring acapella version of Journey's anthem Don't Stop Believin'. Will Oldham/Bonnie 'Prince' Billy turns Mariah Carey's Can't Take That Away into a bittersweet synth ballad. Jim O'Rourke, who produced albums for Wilco, Beth Orton and Joanna Newsom transforms the Spice Girls' ballad Viva Forever into something that wouldn't have been out of place as a take out of a Beth Orton session.
Lets all wallow in our guilt and enjoy these remembered gems, indie-style
Can't get enough ironic covers of familiar radio hits? Try out Engine Room Recordings' Guilt by Association
, which captures indie notables, such as Devendra Banhart, Jim O'Rourke, and Superchunk, covering the likes of Eddie Money, the Spice Girls, and Shania Twain. Petra Haden's all-voices, no-instruments version of "Don't Stop Believin'" leads off the album for a reason--her voice mimics every detail of the original down to the guitar solo, and the result is pretty close to extraordinary (surely the Journey catalog is rich enough to warrant an entire album of a capella covers?). Luna finds the slink beneath the bubble gum of Paula Abdul's "Straight Up," and the Concretes redeem '90s boy band Take That's "Back For Good," turning in a version that's as warm and sleepy as the original was shiny and plastic. If there's a flaw in Guilt by Association
, it's the lack of cohesion that can plague such compilations, and you almost wish the bands had stuck to a narrower range of artists and songs, but any collection that covers everyone from Cher, to Fall Out Boy, to the kids from High School Musical
is bound to hit on a guilty pleasure for just about everyone. --Ben Heege