Good Charlotte Review:
Second single "Keep Your Hands Off My Girl" namedrops Dior bags and Louis Vuitton while indulging an ugly misogynist streak: "I got a model, 26/But she stays in her place." This isn't new territory for Good Charlotte—one of their first hits featured the lyrics "Girls don't like boys/Girls like cars and money." But you used to be able to ignore it because it sounded like kids making a tasteless joke. Maybe they'd grow up. With their new emo-radio-hit sound, though, they sound angry and hateful. The cute punks grew up to be really scary jerks. Relationship advice? "The only way y'all ever keep her in your hands/Is breaking apart her heart."Joni Mitchell Tribute Notes:
Sufjan Stevens - Free Man in Paris: So bad, it actually makes me completely reevaluate whether I like Sufjan Stevens. I think he scrapes by, but barely. This is a horrific cover - and deserves as much disparagement as possible.Stooges - The Weirdness Reviewed:
Prince - A Case of You: Whoever told me earlier last year that Prince did great versions of Joni was OTM. It's odd enough to be Prince and faithful enough to be a cover. It's the perfect cover - it changes the song just enough to become a new entity, but it's still a "free lunch" because of the original (contrast to Sufjan's cover).
Sarah McLachlan - Blue: I hate to say it, because I generally dislike McLachlan's stuff, but having her do Blue (Joni's most downer song on Blue and maybe in her entire discography?) was really inspired. It's fitfully sad, and just as mournful as the original. The only problem is that the layered voices and chimes in the background don't really distinguish it enough. It's fairly true to the original.
Annie Lennox - Ladies of the Canyon: Also surprisingly good. More bombastic than the original, and it fits the song well. A nice spin.
James Taylor - River: I've got a bootleg where he sings this song with Joni, and so I thought I knew what to expect. But it's really such a lovely tribute to Joni, and you really hear the tenderness in his voice. There's something faintly nostalgic and very warm about his cover. It's the perfect ending to the album, and more than anything I've ever heard/read it communicates James love for Joni. Maybe the best (most important?) thing on the album.
The instruments are about as blunt as Iggy's sense of humor. Which is to say that it's firmly within the tradition of punk music - a couple of chords played over and over. Sometimes that formula becomes grating, like on "Greedy, Awful People," which could have been a stellar song if the rhythm section didn't give you a headache halfway through. Even writing that briefest of critiques makes me feel guilty, though. As though I were one of the "greedy, awful people," Iggy is singing about, with a severe lack of class. The truth, though, is that it operates perfectly on many of the other songs, and sometimes even achieves sublime results.