Reviews of Singles by S. Earle, Boy Least Likely To, Bat for Lashes, K. Hilson, Lemonheads

Steve Earle, really going to Townes.
Steve Earle, really going to Townes. (By Ted Barron -- New West Records)

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

A weekly playlist for the listener with a one-track mind.

This Week: A super-duper, almost unbearably special, all-covers edition!

Steve Earle: "To Live Is to Fly" (Townes Van Zandt cover). Earle's upcoming disc, "Townes," is entirely dedicated to Van Zandt covers. This closing track is perfection itself, although there really weren't too many ways it could have gone wrong.

The Boy Least Likely To: "The One That I Want" ("Grease" soundtrack cover). The quirky British hipsters deliver a fully committed, decidedly unhipster version of the Greatest. "Grease." Song. Ever. Wouldn't it be awesome if the woman singing lead were secretly Olivia Newton-John? She's not, though.

Bat for Lashes: "Use Somebody" (live Kings of Leon cover). KOL, newly dubbed "America's Hottest Band" by Rolling Stone (although we have our doubts), is the latest act to be given the wispy, ethereal treatment by the covers-happy Bat for Lashes.

Keri Hilson: "Since U Been Gone" (Kelly Clarkson cover). Robbed of its visceral kick, this weirdly denuded version of Clarkson's greatest song now sounds like an abbreviated outtake from the "Stomp the Yard" soundtrack.

The Lemonheads featuring Liv Tyler: "Hey, That's No Way to Say Goodbye" (Leonard Cohen cover). Evan Dando sounds shockingly like an Evan Dando impersonator and Liv Tyler sounds unshockingly like Jane Birkin on this track from the Lemonheads' perpetually delayed covers disc, "Varshons."

-- Allison Stewart


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