Various Artists

¡Policia!: A Tribute to the Police

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Rounding up bands from around the emo/indie rock/pop-punk genres, The Militia Group has compiled a pretty solid 12-track tribute to the Police in its enthusiastically titled ¡Policia! While some contributions hit closer to the mark than others, the overall album thankfully comes off as a competent and pleasant affair that doesn't play like a bunch of lukewarm Sting wannabes. The relative diversity of the bands present here helps the album bounce enjoyably along from track to track without turning stale or annoying. Brandtson kicks things off on the right foot with their smooth rendition of "King of Pain" (played like it could be a band original), while Fall Out Boy next taps into their darker side with a pop-punktrified "Roxanne." Their version is admittedly fun due to the band's sheer energy, but for such a talented group, there's a slight feeling that their rework could have been executed a bit better. Motion City Soundtrack offers a synth-laden emo-pop gem, while Limbeck's alt-country-tinged version of "So Lonely" is one of the best tracks on the album. Competing for the title is the absolutely delicious pop/rock of Watashi Wa; covering one of the Police's most well-known songs ("Message in a Bottle") could have seemed like playing it safe, but the guys do such a great job with the song, its familiarity will just lead to more singalongs right off the bat. Other tracks, however, aren't as agreeable. The vocals on No Motiv's cut seem a bit strained, and Anadivine plays a competent albeit slightly boring version of "Everything Little Thing She Does Is Magic." But finishing off with the sweet and delicate "Every Breath You Take" courtesy of Copeland ends things back on a high note. As far as tribute albums go, ¡Policia! is one of the better ones out there, since the good songs are great and even the minor misses aren't really that bad. [This edition comes with a sampler disc of bands from the Miltia Group roster.]

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