Spike Priggen

Stars After Stars After Stars

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Unlike most albums of covers, Spike Priggen's Stars After Stars After Stars succeeds from start to finish. Priggen -- who's done time in almost-famous bands like Dumptruck, the Liquor Giants, and the Caroline Know -- knows a thing about arranging an alt-pop song, and it shows on this diverse song cycle. "In the Inside" is a scorching, superb take on the Hot Bodies' original, and the Zombies' "How We Were Before" comes off as a winsome, warm tribute. A pair of ballads, the Pontiac Brothers' twangy, spooky "Be Married Song" and Jenifer Jackson's shimmering, guitar weeper "When You Looked at Me" are done right, while Priggen's lilting, gorgeous rendition of Big Star's "Nighttime" may be the best thing going for Stars After Stars After Stars. The man even scores by resuscitating Alice Cooper's rebellious hard rock classic "I'm Eighteen," turning it into a likable, countrified bastardization of the original. Well done, Priggen, well done.

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