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Guilt By Association

Here's a cover song compilation album that beat me to the punch. Why hadn't I thought of building a playlist similar to this?

The concept is simple yet infinitely wonderful.

Engine Room Records asked a group of artists to record cover versions of songs that are not exactly critically acclaimed.  The end result is a fascinating account of guilty pleasures that will put a smile on your face, and help you see some of these songs in a new light.

The project includes indie artists like Devendra Banhart, Luna, The Concretes, The Mooney Suzuki, Superchunk, Mike Watt and 9 others performing songs by bands like Journey, Mariah Carey, Paula Abdul, Cher, Spice Girls and Eddie Money, among others.

Now, doesn't that sound fun!

Well it is! And although some of the selections sound like they were recorded without much thought, the loose nature of the CD works perfectly as satire, and some of the remakes found here are homeruns. Especially the a capella version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'" by Petra Haden (download MP3) and the Luna version of Paula Adbul's "Straight Up."

In many cases, the stripped down production reveals the strength of the underlying songs and elevates them beyond their reputation.

Last Summer, Engine Room Recordings' execs proposed a challenge to the public: to create a music video for one of 3 songs off the compilation: Petra Haden's a-cappella version of Journey's "Don't Stop Believin'"; Devendra Banhart's rendition of Oasis' "Don't Look Back in Anger" and Will Oldham's cover of Mariah Carey's "Can't Take That Away." Over one hundred proposals were sent into the label's New York offices.

You can see the winning videos at Pitchfork.


1. Petra Haden - Don't Stop Believin (Journey)
2. Devendra Banhart - Don't Look Back In Anger (Oasis)
3. Mark Mulcahy - From This Moment On (Shania Twain)
4. Luna - Straight Up (Paula Abdul)
5. The Concretes - Back For Good (Take That)
6. Jim O'Rourke - Viva Forever (Spice Girls)
7. Goat - Sugar We're Going Down (Fall Out Boy)
8. Will Oldham - Can't Take That Away (Mariah Carey)
9. Woody Jackson Orchestra ft Money Mark - Love's Theme (Love Unlimited Orchestra)
10. Porter Block - Breaking Free (High School Musical)
11. Mooney Suzuki - Just Like Jesse James ( Cher )
12. Geoff Farina - Two Tickets To Paradise (Eddie Money)
13. Casey Shea - Chop Suey (System of a Down)
14. Superchunk - Say My Name (Destiny's Child)
15. Mike Watt - Burning For You (Blue Oyster Cult)


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