Wednesday, March 4, 2009

War Child: Heroes album review

Various Artists
War Child presents “Heroes”

Whenever War Child assembles a new charity album, you can bet it’ll be worth your dough. The international organization focuses on reducing poverty, education and
human rights for children in war-torn areas of the world. The Help Album (1995) featured an all-star Britpop lineup. 1 Love (2002) sported cover songs. Help!: A Day in the Life (2005), with another crop of original British tunes, set a U.K. digital download record.

Heroes has a cool concept: 16 music legends selected one of their compositions and nominated a younger artist to do a modern day version.

Beck puts a brilliant eclectic spin on Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat”; The Hold Steady prove perfect for Springsteen’s “Atlantic City”; Lily Allen nabs The Clash’s Mick Jones on that band’s “Straight to Hell” and does an ace job at reinventing the tune. Same goes for Hot Chip’s spacey, electro-leaning “Transmission” by Joy Division and Duffy’s luxuriously retro treatment of Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die.” Scissor Sisters take Roxy Music’s “Do the Strand” in a fun, Giorgio Moroder dance direction and TV on the Radio make “Heroes” by David Bowie even more icy and detached. Rufus Wainwright, Estelle, Peaches, Franz Ferdinand and Yeah Yeah Yeahs are among the other contributors.

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