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Sound Check

CD Reviews

3/27/2013

cd mannAimee Mann

‘Mann on Mann Action’

Nonesuch

Aimee Mann has toiled for three decades as one of those “musicians’ musicians,” but she’s never exactly been known as a hit machine. Easily Mann’s most commercially successful and recognizable work is “Voices Carry,” the title track off of her band ‘Til Tuesday’s 1985 debut album. But Mann has always considered her body of work to be worth more attention than it’s previously garnered. To prove it, she’s made the curious decision to release this album, which is nothing more than Mann covering her own songs, with the help of a series of guest musicians. Skrillex helps dub-up the previously mentioned “Voices Carry,” while Lil Wayne gives a harder edge to 1995’s “You’re With Stupid Now.” The end result is a schizophrenic album with no cohesion or unity of message. It’s a rare miss for one of music’s true professionals. APRIL FOOLS

 

HIV

CD modVarious Artists

‘Paint it Black: A Tribute to the Weather Beacon’

Brolester Records

KCCI-TV’s decision to turn the lights out on the Weather Beacon in 2012 sparked outrage and despair among many of the capital city’s denizens. The zeitgeist was quickly immortalized in T-shirt form by Raygun in typical tongue-in-cheek fashion. Playing off of Raygun’s end-of-days theme, 14 local bands have come together to create a doom-and-gloom-themed, tribute album as a final send-off of the beloved landmark. Brother Trucker’s cover of the Rolling Stones’ eponymous classic is probably the best offering of the album, but everything here is worth a listen. From Matt Woods’ gut wrenching take on Bill Withers’ “Ain’t no Sunshine” to Love Songs For Lonely Monsters’ jangling, mile-a-minute version of REM’s “It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I feel fine),” the entire album is enormous fun and a proper salute to Des Moines’ favorite anachronism. APRIL FOOLS

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