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CD Reviews

Various Artists – (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered

11.20.11

Various Artists - (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered

Every once in a while a movement in the musical world has us thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?” Case in point, (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered – a track by track cover album of U2’s 1991 original album, Achtung Baby. We’re all familiar with albums covering a band’s material, but recreating a specific album is clever business. The original warning sign, produced two decades ago by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno, took Erin’s boys away from the pared down sound of Rattle and Hum, and into alternative-industrial-electronic territory. Recorded in Berlin just after German re-unification, the dark quality threading through Achtung Baby is a reflection of tension that almost broke the band. It’s intense enough, the thought of new material from individual greats Nine Inch Nails, Damien Rice, Patti Smith, Garbage, Depeche Mode, Snow Patrol, The Fray, Gavin Friday, The Killers, Glasvegas and Jack White, yet when all of these mighty musicians gather in tribute to rock royalty, well, that just ups the ante. Highlights are king of melancholy Damien Rice’s heartwrenching rendition of One (the track that essentially brought the band back together during recording), Depeche Mode’s sexy spin on So Cruel, and The Killers’ organ-heavy Civil War percussions on Light My Way. As for other contributors, it’s a given that you can’t go wrong with Patti Smith, Shirley Manson and Jack White contributing those all powerful vocals supreme. The bottom line is that, while satisfying, (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered is an auditory snack that leaves U2 fans hankering for samples from other eras in the band’s history.

Sheila Quinn

Key Tracks: One (Damien Rice), Until The End Of The World (Patti Smith), Love Is Blindness (Jack White)

Moods: Stylish, Nocturnal, Passionate, Bittersweet

Buy: (Ăhk-to͝ong Ba͞y-bi) Covered

 


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