Various Artists

Pick My Kiss: The Bluegrass Tribute to Red Hot Chili Peppers

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Though it's more of a novelty than an actual musical accomplishment, Pick My Kiss: The Bluegrass Tribute to Red Hot Chili Peppers (performed by a six-piece band) is surprisingly less ridiculous than it initially sounds. Most of the songs chosen to be covered actually transfer pretty well into the bluegrass format, especially the often slower, minor ones like "Breaking the Girl," "Californication," and "Road Trippin'," and particularly "Under the Bridge," whose foray into country music is hardly a stretch, sounds pretty good, too. Even the punky "Give It Away" comes across as plausible (although unfortunately the same cannot be said about "By the Way" or "Suck My Kiss"). Yeah, Pick My Kiss elicits that same kind of response that a folksinger in a bar gets when he starts doing an acoustic version of "Gin and Juice" (mild interest driven mostly by alcohol and a crowded room), which doesn't make it any less fun, perhaps just less, well, lasting. But if anything, the album shows how well-written and accessible the Chili Peppers' songs are, and anyway, it's kind of hard not to enjoy anything involving a banjo and the memory of tube socks.

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