steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Various Artists

"Keepsake Volume 2: Covers" CDEP

KEEP Recordings

Genres: folk-pop, indie pop

PO Box 18972
Tucson AZ 85731

June 6 - 12 2005

Volume Two is the latest chapter in KEEP Recordings' Keepsake chronicles, a series of lovingly crafted compilations showcasing the label's premier acts.  This one consists exclusively of cover songs, featuring versions of tracks by just about everyone, from The Beach Boys and Willie Nelson to indie stalwarts Modest Mouse and Low.  The highlight is definitely Chad King's take on "Wouldn't It Be Nice," a low-key, folky version that's been compared to Jack Johnson by a few of my friends.  There are a number of other solid tracks, including Dolorean's acoustic version of Kris Kristofferson's "Help Me Make It Through the Night" and Grumpy Bear's strangely dark rendition of Willie Nelson's "Always on my Mind."  Brian Michael Roff's "So Far Away" (Carole King) and Arman Melles' "Sunflower" (Low) are also very strong.   Beltline's "In The Manner of Anne Frank" (Portastatic) and This Busy Monster's "Meathook" (The Cure) don't succeed like some of the other songs, though - coming out flat and uninspired.  The good outweighs the bad on this compilation, however, and overall it's a very worthwhile record to check out.  If you, like me, just love listening to bands take on songs by different musicians, pick this disc up.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 13 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2005]