Review: 'War Child presents Heroes,' Good music for a great cause
Today's big CD release is "Music from the 3D Concert Experience," the soundtrack to the Jonas Bros. movie, which opens in theaters this Friday. It's a lock to come in at No. 1 on the Billboard album chart that comes out next Wednesday. Other releases of note include new albums from Lamb of God, Chris Isaak, Company of Thieves, B-Real and Green River Ordinance.
However, we consider the most interesting release out today to be "War Child Presents Heroes." Big names such as Beck, Lily Allen, Franz Ferdinand, Duffy, Estelle and TV on the Radio remake songs from legendary artists such as The Clash, Bob Dylan, U2, David Bowie, Bruce Springsteen at the request of the superstar. Can you imagine if you're Duffy and Paul McCartney picks you to remake "Live and Let Die?" I'd love to hear that phone call, if it ever took place. More likely, his people called her people or the label served as the intermediary. A portion of the proceeds from album sales goes to War Child, a humanitarian organization which provides assistance to children affected by war. According to War Child, 66% of all casualties of war are children.
As is always the case with these hodge podge collections, some entries fare better than others. In some cases, the artists go for slavish re-creation instead of reinvention: for example, The Hold Steady's remake of Springsteen's "Atlantic City" sounds like any cover band paying tribute to their idol, same with Franz Ferdinand's fairly faithful rendering of Blondie's "Call Me." In other cases, the original is so strong that the acolyte's version pales in comparison. Estelle's mannered cover of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition."
The more interesting takes are when the artist taking on the original has a compelling voice or version of his or her own. For example, Duffy's cover of "Live and Let Die" takes the song in a sultry direction, rather than follows McCartney's bombastic original. It more resembles how Shirley Bassey would have sung "Live & Let Die" if that had been her James Bond theme instead of "Goldfinger." Similarly, Scissor Sissors completely reinvent Roxy Music's "Do the Strand." In other cases, the artist takes the original and adds their own twist: Rufus Wainwright's dramatic voice compliments his medley of songs from Brian Wilson's ‘Smile" beautifully. Wilson's orchestrations (aided by Van Dyke Parks) are so lush and beautiful and Wainwright's mellifluous voice floats beautifully on top of them. It's hard to think of many people who can take on Iggy Pop, but the outrageous Peaches does him proud on "Search and Destroy." TV on the Radio's rhythmic take on Bowie's "Heroes" is growing on us... a lot.
Want more music news and analysis? Sign up now for HitFix Blog Alerts and get The Beat Goes On in your inbox every day.
Don't stop the music! Click here to add The Beat Goes On to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience today.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
Let Streaming Genie help you.