Pravda's sequel to their first compilation of K-Tel cover songs has, like its predecessor, as many hits as misses. To be sure, some of the songs weren't all that great to begin with -- how could any artist hope to transform Donny and Marie Osmond's "A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll" into something more substantial? Well, John Wesley Harding and Kelly Hogan give it a shot, but there's only so much they can do (including changing a few of the lyrics). The stronger numbers, however -- particularly those that have been covered with some degree of respect -- seem to fare the best. The Posies' "O-o-h Child" (the Five Stairsteps), for instance, is quite faithful to the original. If a bit less soulful, it still glows with the Beatle-esque harmonies that have long distinguished the careers of Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow. The Smithereens' take on Ringo Starr's "It Don't Come Easy" is another good fit between song and performer. Neither cover is better than the original, but no matter. On the other end of the spectrum, the Dayglo Abortions cover Barry Manilow's "I Write the Songs" in an off-hand (and off-key) punk rock style that adds little to the mawkish original. Most of the rest of the contributions, from the likes of King Missile, Wilco, the Fastbacks, etc., fall between the two extremes.
AllMusic Review by Kathleen C. Fennessy