Various Artists

Delphonic Sounds Today: Del-Fi Does Del-Fi

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A tribute album to the Del-Fi label, for which 20 alternative artists of the late '90s cover songs, from hits to rarities, released on Del-Fi in the late '50s and '60s. It could not be said by even those most sympathetic to the concept that the world was awaiting this salute with great impatience, but here it is. A few of the bands have modest reps in the underground (Brian Jonestown Massacre, Man or Astroman? Baby Lemonade), and original '60s guitar hero, Davie Allan covers Bobby Fuller's "Our Favorite Martian," but most of the artists are unknown. As, indeed, are most of the songs covered -- "I Fought the Law" and "Hippy Hippy Shake" are here, but there aren't many, if any, versions of tunes like Beauregard Ajax's "Things Will Work Out Fine," Barry White's "All in the Run of a Day," Frank Zappa's "The World's Greatest Sinner" or the American Four's "Luci Baines." As is often the way in projects like this, most of the updates are well-intentioned and unremarkable. The best are those that take a lot of liberties with the original arrangement for a major revamp, like Nan Vernon's spooky and spare reading of Bobby Fuller's "A New Shade of Blue," which would have fit in well on the soundtrack of a Twin Peaks episode.

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