Various Artists

Ethereal Tribute to U2

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The Vitamin label's Ethereal Tribute to U2 reimagines nine tracks by the world-famous Irish pop group as ambient pop. Vocals from Mele, Josafin Glenmark, and Lisa Linehan lend a dreamy quality to the mostly down-tempo electronic arrangements. The tribute's greatest strength is its decision to leave U2's distinctive melodies intact. Too often, compilations that transpose a new genre over another end up sacrificing a song's defining moments for flawed instrumental adventurism. That isn't the case with Ethereal Tribute to U2. "With or Without You" and "One" are standouts, as is a tasteful reworking of "Running to Stand Still" that manages to retain the languid blues of the original, while adding some tasteful drum programming. The upbeat Euro-house of Linehan's "Beautiful Day" isn't as strong as some other electronic mixes of the song that have appeared, but she has a pretty voice that gives her version some resonance. On the minus side, versions of "Stuck in a Moment You Can't Get Out Of" and "So Cruel" don't really go anywhere, but they don't take away from the overall tranquility of the album.

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