Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Duncan Sheik - Covers 80s (2011)

Yes, cover albums are usually novelty releases that capitalize on nostalgia, but that fact really doesn't bother me in the least.  I loves me some covers and I loves me some '80s music, so this album is a can't miss proposition, right?  Well, for the most part these covers are good, if not predictable. I can't complain about the song selection; Sheik has good taste (which, of course, means it's remarkably similar to mine).  The gimmick here is to take synthpop songs and remove the synth part.  And this album is exactly what you would expect from Sheik: it's like he showed up at the local coffee house with his guitar for an acoustic set, turning to the old out-of-tune piano on the stage from time to time.  There's also some wonderful backing vocals from Rachael Yamagata that save many of these tracks  (note to self: check out her stuff).  So while this is refreshing and relaxing for a while, I'm left wanting something different by the end. 

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: Did not chart

Tracks: I'll grade each track on the merit of the cover version, not whether the song being covered is any good.  (I used a similar grading system on Erasure's Other People's Songs).
  • Stripped - originally by Depeche Mode, 1986: D
  • Hold Me Now - originally by Thompson Twins, 1983: A 
  • Love Vigilantes - originally by New Order, 1985: C
  • Kyoto Song - originally by The Cure, 1985: B
  • What Is Love - originally by Howard Jones, 1983: B
  • So Alive - originally by Love and Rockets, 1989: C
  • Shout - originally by Tears for Fears, 1985: F
  • Gentlemen Take Polaroids - originally by Japan, 1980: A
  • Life's What You Make It - originally by Talk Talk, 1985: B
  • William It Was Really Nothing - originally by The Smiths, 1984: D
  • Stay - originally by The Blue Nile, 1984: A
  • The Ghost In You - originally by The Psychedelic Furs, 1984: C
If we averaged those grades, we'd get something around a B-, which sounds about right.
Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

Previously revisited for the blog:
Humming (1998)
Reasons for Living (1997)
Duncan Sheik (1996)

And, for the original versions:

1 comment:

  1. For once, I am a little more negative than you regrading an album. This album comes in at a decidedly non-juicy low C for me. Like the "Hold Me Now" cover but none of the other songs received such high marks.

    Thanks for the originals playlist. One of the better ideas my sister ever had was when making tapes of cover versions, the flipside should be the same songs by their original artists.