Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Surprise Your Pig: Tribute to Rem
Genres: Alternative Rock, Special Interest, Pop, Rock
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Schizophrenic "tribute" to R.E.M.
A. B. Sartin | South, USA | 05/22/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I think most people just don't "get" this album. It's not intended as a straight-up tribute, in fact it's more of a send-up and an interpretive tool for most of the bands on the record. One of the songs (Can't Get There From Here) was sung entirely using made-up lyrics because the lead singer for The Mr. T Experience couldn't find a lyrics sheet. And Steelpole Bathtub's "We Walk" is utterly unrecognizeable. Not that it's a bad thing, the new version is striking in its simplicity. The spoken interlude is especially interesting and memorable.As for the assertion that most of the artists are nobodies, I will invite you to notice that most of them have serious indie credibility (King Missile, Steelpole Bathtub, Jawbreaker), and a few of them are close personal friends of the members of R.E.M. (Mitch Easter, Vic Chestnutt). It is certainly not your average everyday tribute, nor is it meant to be. I will include a liner note excerpt from Kris McLaughlan, the one who put this whole project together:"Each band chose their cut, and in most cases totally reconstructed it in any way they saw fit. That, in my opinion, is the beauty of this compilation: the diversity of each song, and the 'interpretations' that each band made.""
It's not THAT bad
Timothy Jarrett | Arlington, MA USA | 04/06/2004
(2 out of 5 stars)
"When I bought this disc back in 1992, it highly amused me for about fifteen minutes. The main reason was the King Missile (you know, of "Jesus Was Way Cool" and "Detachable P***s" fame) cover of "Get Up." What was a slightly annoying song in the original version on _Green_ became maniacally entertaining in the King Missile version, complete with deliberately stumbly and out of tune keyboard lines and enthusiastically off-pitch backing vocals, and sped up a good 20 BPM from the original version. I can happily live without the rest of the album (though the Sicilian version of "Talk About the Passion"--not "Pretty Persuasion" as the other reviewer mentions--is kind of interesting)."
Not what you'd expect
JVB | Austin, TX USA | 03/24/2005
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this "tribute" album back in the early 90s, and listened to it a few times. Other reviews complain about unknown bands, and that they sound nothing like the originals, but I think these observations miss a deeper, more transcendant point. I *like* unconventional interpretations, and have never cared whether an artist is "popular." But many of the performances sound as if they didn't even bother to learn the songs or develop an interpretation, they just bang it out. Some performances attempt to duplicate the sound of the original, but change up the tempo or vocal delivery (e.g. Mitch Easter's Shiny Happy People), but most retain only passing resemblence to the original structure and lyrics (e.g. most of the rest). This by itself would not be bad, if only there was some heart and soul put into the effort.
One would like to think a tribute to REM would in some ways be a celebration/deconstruction/elaboration of what made the originals so great - and reveal some passion from the artists as to what inspired the tribute - what we have here sounds more like an attempt to leverage REM's popularity to sell a few records with slapdash recordings of what sound like might be their songs.
To be fair, I think there are a couple game attempts to do the material justice, but to cut to the chase, nothing that could possibly justify parting with real money to buy this disc. That may sound uncharitable, but don't say I didn't warn you."