CD Reviews

The Florida Times Union, February 14, 2007 | Go to article overview

CD Reviews


'ENDLESS HIGHWAY: THE MUSIC OF THE BAND'

429, ***

There are those who think that The Band is about as good as Americana has ever gotten. So the question of having 17 of their songs reworked by 17 performers is whether it's a great tribute or an unnecessary blasphemy. The answer is that it's a pretty good tribute.

There are a few misses. Bruce Hornsby's King Harvest is pretty bland. Lee Ann Womack takes The Weight far too close to modern country. Jack Johnson is pretty enough, but a little too light on I Shall Be Released.

But alt rockers Guster start the album well with This Wheel's on Fire. The Allman Brothers were a natural for The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, as was Blues Traveler for Rag Mama Rag. The Roches do a beautiful version of Acadian Driftwood. Josh Turner seemed an odd choice, too mainstream country, for When I Paint My Masterpiece. But his deep baritone pulls it off. Death Cab for Cutie finish it with a great Rockin' Chair.

Most of the songs stay fairly closes to the originals, though no one can re-create the loose, almost sloppy feel of The Band. But having a new spin on The Band does make you realize how great and timeless they really are.

- Roger Bull/The Times-Union

FALL OUT BOY 'INFINITY ON HIGH'

Island, ***

Is that Fall Out Boy's label boss Jay-Z rooting the band on at the start of the suburban Chicago pop punks' fourth album? You betcha. Hova knows a cash cow when he hears one, and the up-from-the-Warped Tour quartet (named after Milhouse's sidekick to Bart's Radioactive Man superhero in a Simpsons episode) sold 2.5 million copies of its 2005 breakthrough, From Under the Cork Tree.

Infinity On High means to expand on that success, further beefing up the group's tattooed emo attack, and bringing in R&B crooner Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds, of all people, to produce two tracks. …

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