Every Mother's Son/No More Rides

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Like a child struggling to reconcile his estranged parents, with his remarkable cover of "Every Mother's Son" Will Oldham effectively brings together the long-quarreling spirits of Neil Young and Lynyrd Skynyrd, whose "Alabama"-versus-"Sweet Home Alabama" debate remains one of the more memorable musical dialogues ever waxed. In Palace's hands, the Skynyrd song sounds exactly like vintage Young, specifically the classic "Helpless"; against the backdrop of a wavering, disconnected acoustic melody, Oldham's voice cracks and strains with anthemic passion befitting the Southern rock tradition. "No More Rides," which Oldham originally penned for the Mekons' Sally Timms, maintains the same fragile, off-kilter beauty as "Every Mother's Son," if not its epic sweep -- it's the B-side for a reason.