Interpretations: Today's Great Artists Perform Yesterday's Classics

Various Artists

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Interpretations: Today's Great Artists Perform Yesterday's Classics Review

by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

To celebrate their 100th birthday, EMI Records released a series of limited-edition albums from some of their most popular artists. Among those was Interpretations: Today's Great Artists Perform Yesterday's Classics, a double-disc collection of covers from artists on either American or British subsidiaries of EMI. In fact, the roster leans toward the British and European acts, since such acts as John Butler, Cecil, Feline, Gluebound, Octopus, White Buffalo, and Murray Lachlan Young are non-entities in America. Even genuine British mainstream and indie stars like Robbie Williams, Terrorvision, My Life Story, Dubstar, and Kenickie are unknown in the U.S. That doesn't necessarily mean that Interpretations is uninteresting, but the preponderance of third-level artists sinks what's already a weak idea for a compilation. There are some good moments -- the Foo Fighters' "Baker Street," Kenickie & Errol Brown's "It Started with a Kiss," Dubstar's "Jealousy," World Party's "Martha My Dear," Whitetown's bizarre "Rhinestown Cowboy," and Sparklehorse & Thom Yorke's "Wish You Were Here" -- but those are hardly enough to justify the two-disc running time. Curious fans of certain artists on the collection may find it worth picking up these rarities, but listening to the entire set is certain to be a chore for most listeners.

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