Various Artists

War Child Presents Heroes, Vol. 1

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AllMusic Review by

War Child Presents Heroes isn't a typical benefit album. Compilations filled with covers are nothing new, of course, but in this case, marquee artists were asked to handpick younger artists to cover them, in addition to choosing the songs to be covered. Some of the match-ups -- the Hold Steady on Bruce Springsteen's "Atlantic City," the Kooks on the Kinks' "Victoria" -- are too natural to produce anything but easily predictable and faithful results. In several other cases, the contributors could have just as easily made the cover choices on their own -- Franz Ferdinand doing Blondie's "Call Me" is no stretch; ditto Peaches' taking on Iggy & the Stooges' "Search and Destroy" -- so it's not as if there are any truly off-the-wall pairings. The highlights tend to come from those who sound as if they're truly having fun, most evident on Beck's "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" (Bob Dylan), which packs an irresistible, fuzzy punch.

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