21 Love Songs

I posted a few days ago about the TMF tribute album, 21 Love Songs.

A couple of things, since I've had the chance to give it a few spins:

I would say about half of the songs are pretty successful at keeping key aspects of the original while interpreting it according to the band's personal style.

I can't say the same about the other half of the album. There are a bunch of songs that really just destroy the delicacy of these songs and turn them into noise, something that I cannot appreciate, nor do I find particularly graceful or elegant.

I don't mean to sound so disparaging. It is great that these bands have covered TMF and released the album for free. My general feeling is that, for a lot of them, these songs are the best they have ever performed, so it should not be so hard to make what is already near perfection sound good. Luckily, a few of them do, and even at times greatly enhance the experience of listening to these songs.

Here are my favorites. The ones I left out weren't all bad, just mostly uninventive.

The Desperate Things You Made Me Do: Microfilm

A really good electro-pop song made into a really good electro-dance song.

Yeah, Oh Yeah!: Monica y Carlos

Pretty true to the original's sweetness but sped up with a variety of voices to make it interesting. Could have been more creative, but was at least pleasant to listen to.

Why I Cry: Fairmount Fair

It is hard to say anything bad about this one because it is probably my favorite TMF song, but this version especially is totally beautiful, very much enhanced by the chorus of voices, and has excellently re-interpreted percussion.

Reno Dakota: Porches

A surprisingly creative country version, I especially like how slowwwwww it is.

I Think I Need a New Heart: Steinbeck

A pop-punk version that is, ironically, probably the most successful on the whole album and simultaneously original. It totally reinvents the song and kind of reminds me of that Cheap Trick song, "I Want You to Want Me."

When the Open Road is Closing In: Iji

I think I just like this one because it sounds like Matty Popchart. And because no one but me seems to appreciate anything from The Charm of the Highway Strip.

Busby Berkeley Dreams: The American Icons of Rebellion

Busby Berkeley Dreams was probably the saddest of all TMF's songs until now. This one abandons the despair of the original and is kind of cute and poppy, which I don't mind for some reason. Maybe I'm losing some of my cynicism about love.


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