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Sing A Song For You

Various Artists
Sing A Song For You: A Tribute To Tim Buckley

Tribute albums are a tricky bunch. Do you get a bunch of artists with a wide range of sounds and let them go wild with the source material and try to draw in the largest amount of listeners possible? Or do you find a lot of like minded musicians who won't offend the fans of the one being paid tribute to? It seems to me that the best ones walk a fine line between the above two theories, while offering up a batch of interesting music. Although it wasn't hugely diverse, Take Me Home: A Tribute To John Denver worked because it had just enough different sounds to keep it interesting and most of the tracks on the release weren't the ones that Denver was most known for.

While I'll admit that my familiarity with Tim Buckley is rather limited (I think it's mainly because I'm one generation behind and instead fell in listening to his son Jeff), this 2CD release offers up a big batch of music (it could have actually rather easily been whitled to one disc) by a fairly wide range of artists, although even some of the ones included have slightly changed their sound for the included song. With 17 tracks that span two discs and just over 80 minutes of music, it might have worked better as one disc, but it may have also been overwhelming having almost 80 minutes of tracks jampacked together.

The first disc has artists that range from The Friendly Science Orchestra to Mike Johnson, but there's a heavy 4AD vibe going on with it due to many of the artists involved. Simon Raymonde (formerly of the Cocteau Twins) provides a quiet, subtle backing to the vocals of Anneli Drecker on "Morning Glory" while Brendan Perry (formerly of Dead Can Dance) turns in a rather eerie version of "Dream Letter" and Mojave 3 contributes a fairly run-of-the-mill version of "Love From Room 109 At The Islander." Even Shellyan Orphan (whom I thought had broken up years ago, but hopefully they're back again) contribute the track "Buzzin' Fly."

The second disc starts off with a rather unfortunately uninspired version (compared to her excellent Post To Wire) of "I Must Have Been Blind" by Heather Duby while the rest of the disc has the Lilys, Neil Halstead (of Mojave 3, again), Tram (the same track is also featured on their Frequently Asked Questions release) and others. The highlight of the disc is the epic version of "Pleasant Street" by Geneva, though. The track is given sort of a dirty trip-hop feel and it works amazingly. Overall, it's a pretty good release and tribute, and it should extend beyond just fans of Tim Buckley because of all the artists involved. While some of the tracks don't really resonate (again, I think it probably would have worked better as a single disc release), there are some really great tracks as well.

Rating: 7