Various Artists

Rewind! 4

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Continuing in the now-venerable tradition of the previous three volumes in the Rewind! series, Vol. 4 presents entirely new versions (not remixes) of old and often obscure pop, funk, and soul songs by modern artists. Actually, in this case the songs aren't even necessarily that old -- Nostalgia 77 delivers a slow, thunderous, and funky but conspicuously minimalist version of the White Stripes' "7 Nation Army," and Willis only reaches back to the 1980s with its Delta blues-style rendition of Cameo's funk classic "Word Up!" Other entries draw on more of an old-school repertoire: Sharon Jones and Lee Fields team up for a horn-heavy soul arrangement of Woody Guthrie's "This Land Is Your Land" (which includes a verse or two that don't get sung that often anymore), and the Platinum Pied Pipers give Burt Bacharach's "Look of Love" a distinctly weird instrumental setting that consists almost entirely of bare-bones drum machine and grumpy, wheezy organ. Inevitably, there are a few failed experiments here -- frankly, it's debatable whether the world is a better place now that it includes a '60s funk version of "This Land Is Your Land" -- but all of them are fun at one level or another. Recommended.

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