Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Abbey Road Now!

Free with this month's MOJO, Abbey Road covered in its entirety by various artists; or, in the mag's own words:
FREE CD! ABBEY ROAD NOW! The Beatles' 1969 classic re-recorded by the likes of Cornershop, Robyn Hitchcock, Gomez, The Low Anthem, Glenn Tilbrook, Noah And The Whale and many, many more!
Not just many more, you see: many many more. So? Well, it's not so much hit and miss as 'miss and hit'; or even 'miss, miss, hit, miss and hit'. Covering famous songs is a tricky business. There's little point, for instance, in covering an original track with such stars-in-their-eyes pedantry as to produce a track almost indistinguishable from the original: which is what Robyn Hitchcock's 'I Want You' and Cornershop's 'Mean Mr Mustard/Polythene Pam' are, here. Then there's a mumbly, too-slow 'Come Together' by The Invisible, a messy half-arsed 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' by Let's Wrestle, and a schmaltzed-up 'Golden Slumbers' by Blue Roses that takes an already oversweet song and stirs in three pots of syrup and many tumbling cubes of white sugar. In similar vein, Karima Francis's singing over-emotes on 'She Came in Through the Bathroom Window', which spoils an otherwise pretty pluck-squeaked acoustic guitar version of the song. And I found, after several listenings, that a very little of Noah and the Wyle, sorry, Noah and the Whale's Sparklehorsey-soundylikey 'Carry That Weight' goes a long, long way.

Still, let's not be too negative: Glenn Tilbrook treats 'You Never Give Me Your Money' as a Squeeze song and it works fine; Charley Dore and Martin John Henry make decent fists of 'Here Comes the Sun' and 'Because' respectively, and Gomez are the best of the pick with a genuinely brilliant cover of the (you-might-think-but-you'd-be-wrong) unpromising 'Sun King'. Whatever happened to Gomez? I had and liked their first several albums, but I've lost track of them since then. I ought to get back on the Gomez pogostick and give it a bounce. I really ought.


Niall Harrison said...

I have the most recent Gomez album, A New Tide, and I have to say I'm rather fond of it.

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