Various Artists

Who Are You: An All-Star Tribute to the Who

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Who Are You: An All-Star Tribute to the Who collects mostly faithful covers by a wide range of rockers, spanning various highlights of the Who's legacy, hitting on classics from their early mod days as well as later arena rock staples. The monolithic nature of the Who's catalog makes the task of delivering an acceptable cover a little tricky. If you're going to do it by the numbers (no reference intended), it's gotta be stellar or it will pale in comparison to the original. Joe Lynn Turner and Leslie West's screaming rendition of "The Seeker" staggers around with all the verve and bile of the original, while even a slightly less energetic reading of "Baba O'Riley" by Jerry Goldman with Nektar falls flat, coming off deflated and milquetoast. Iggy Pop's clumsy version of "I Can't Explain" flops similarly, sounding just a touch too phoned-in for its own good. An explosive version of "My Generation" by the Kinks' Dave Davies with members of the Vibrators and the Damned makes up for the missteps of the rest of the comp, with blown-out guitar tones and crashing drums sounding almost as youthfully tense and electric as the original. The Raveonettes also offer a highlight with a dreamy reverb-pop rendition of "The Kids Are Alright." Though a spotty affair, the strengths of Who Are You redeem the more hackneyed moments.

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