Various Artists

New Licks: A Tribute To The Rolling Stones

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New Licks: A Tribute to the Rolling Stones is indeed a 12-song tribute to the songs of the world's oldest rock band at the time as performed by completely unknown female singers. Acoustic guitar provides all the backing for the vocalists, giving the disc the sound of amateur night at your local coffeehouse. Most of the singers are better than the average local amateurs, but the feeling is hard to shake. The most successful songs here are the one or two songs that were acoustic to begin with, like "Wild Horses," performed with a proper amount of sultriness by Lisa King, or at least ballads like "Time Is on My Side," also performed decently by King. Where the disc goes wildly astray is when the singers do breathlessly polite versions of songs like "Under My Thumb" or "Mother's Little Helper" that were never meant to be polite or breathless. The worst offender is Reyo Bikkin, whose earnest and cutesy version of "Sympathy for the Devil" is liable to make your fingernails curl up and fall off. But she had lots of competition. Some songs (i.e., most of the songs here) were just never meant to be turned into acoustic ballads. Especially as performed by singers (mostly good singers it must be said) who should be writing and performing their own introspective coffeehouse folk songs, not mangling some of the greatest rock & roll songs ever. No one outside of the friends and family of the singers involved should buy this disc.

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