''Hot Fuzz: Music From The Motion Picture''
(Cherry Tree/ Interscope)
If you haven't seen ''Hot Fuzz,'' the new action movie spoof from the English filmmaking team that brought us ''Shaun of the Dead,'' then some of the more recent film's soundtrack is going to be a bit confusing, and possibly a bit aggravating. The aggravation comes with the fact that some of the songs have dialogue from the film playing over them. The confusion might come with some of the song choices.
Being that this is a British film production, the soundtrack tie-in isn't bloated with every current pop music flavor of the month.
As a matter of fact, many of the tracks come from classic British acts such as XTC, The Kinks and Adam Ant.
Elsewhere we get more recent selections from The Fratellis, Eels and Jon Spencer. Among the best tracks are The Kink's '' The Village Green Preservation Society,'' Supergrass' ''Caught by the Fuzz,'' and The Fratellis' ''Solid Gold Easy Action.''
Although some of the song's subject manner might make it a bit of a stretch, all of the music on the CD ties in with the film's storyline, which is about a gung-ho London cop who is sent to patrol a sleepy village in the English countryside. Rather than being humorous, the song selections simply seem appropriate, but fans of British rock both old and new should find plenty to enjoy hear, so long as they don't mind the occasional blast of dialogue over the music.
DOWNLOAD THESE: ''Caught By the Fuzz,'' '' The Village Green Preservation Society,'' '' Solid Gold Easy Action''
So the inimitable Patti Smith gets inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and what does she do next?
Did you say ''release a CD of cover songs?'' If so, then congratulations, you win a big gold star. Actually, in all fairness it seems that Smith has had this project planned for years.
While hearing Smith interpret a dozen songs by various artists sounds intriguing indeed, one has to wonder whether even someone with Smith's originality is going to last through the B+ project.
Smith keeps things balanced as far as the ratio of new vs. old is concerned. For the old guard Smith pulls out tunes by Jimi Hendrix (''Are You Experienced?''), Jefferson Airplane (''White Rabbit'') and The Allman Brothers (''Midnight Rider''). More recent artists represented include Tears For Fears and Nirvana.
The only thing that truly bothers me about Smith's work on '' Twelve'' is that far too often the artist gives a fairly straightforward interpretation of the original song. If you're going to record an album of covers, then why not make your interpretations as interesting as possible, especially if your name happens to be Patti Smith.
Does anyone remember her electrifying take on ''Gloria'' from back in the day? Still despite the fact that Smith seems to have mellowed in her autumn years, '' Twelve'' has moments of brilliance, such as when Smith completely dresses down ''Smells Like Teen Spirit,'' or when she nearly tops Paul Simon on her cover of his '' The Boy in the Bubble.'' When moments such as those occur, Smith can be forgiven for being a bit complacent. After all, she's worked pretty hard to get to where she is.
DOWNLOAD THESE: '' The Boy in the Bubble,'' '' Smells Like Teen Spirit,'' ''Gimme Shelter''
''A Tribute To Joni Mitchell''
Want to know where you stand as a songwriter? These days if you're a well known songsmith, then all you have to do is wait for your inevitable tribute album to be released, and then look at what artists answered the call to interpret your work. If I were Joni Mitchell, I'd be feeling pretty satisfied right about know. On the sensibly titled ''A Tribute to Joni Mitchell,'' a truly impressive array of artists both young and old have been assembled to sing her creations. You get songs by fellow established artists, such as James Taylor (''River'') and Emmylou Harris ('' The Magdalene Laundries''), selections by contemporary performers, including Bjork ('' The Boho Dance'') and Sufjan Stevens (''Free Man in Paris''). Even fairly obscure artists, such as Caetano Veloso and Brad Mehldau, get the chance to show Joni some love.
Elsewhere on the CD come contributions by Sarah McLachlan (''Blue''), Elvis Costello (''Edith and the Kingpin''), and Annie Lennox (''Ladies of the Canyon'').
Among the better covers on the CD are the tracks by k.d. lang (''Help Me''), Cassandra Wilson (''For the Roses''), and Prince, who lends his lovely falsetto voice to ''A Case of You.'' Surprisingly, there is not a note of what is arguably Mitchell's most well-known song, ''Big Yellow Taxi,'' to be found. All in all, the CD is a good example of how to do a tribute album correctly.
DOWNLOAD THESE: ''A Case of You,'' '' Help Me,'' '' Blue''
- By Devin Grant Special to The Post and Courier