Various Artists

James Brown Super Bad @ 65: A James Brown Tribute

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James Brown certainly deserves a tribute album as much as any other artist, but Super Bad @ 70 is for the most part an embarrassment, a soulless and inept homage to Brown without any of the energy and invention which makes his original recordings so timeless. The artists which fill out the disc's roster are for the most part products of the alternative rock community, and their inability to muster the funk necessary to pull off their material is the record's downfall. While the occasional track works -- the noisy "It's a Man's, Man's, Man's World," which teams Grand Mal's Carmen Quinones with members of Mercury Rev, puts a provocative gender spin on the subject, while Broke Dick Dog (a collaboration between Mike Watt, Money Mark and Jane's Addiction's Stephen Perkins) reinvents "Shhhhhhh! (For a Little While)" -- the vast majority, like Frank Black's "Mother Popcorn" and Chris Whitley's "I Can't Stand Myself (When You Touch Me)," miss the target entirely.

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