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.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus