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Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To The Cure
American Laundromat Records

The Cure is undoubtedly one of the most seminal and influential bands of the past thirty years, their mark being felt in all genres of the modern music industry. Robert Smith's unique vocal style has paved the way for acceptance of many less-talented singers and the band's unique take on melody and songwriting has inspired far more songs than most would ever dream of. So it is no surprise that tribute albums pop up now and again to the band, the most recent being a wonderful collection of covers on the great American Laundromat Records. This new collection, titled Just Like Heaven: A Tribute To The Cure, is filled with fantastic covers of fantastic songs, many times artists bringing their own unique vision to the songs and making Smith's songs their own.

Some of the highlights include Joy Zipper performing "Just Like Heaven", giving the song a distinctly indie-rock guitar sound and utilizing boy/girl vocals to great effect. The Brunettes' take on "Lovesong" is electronic based and edgy, while Dean & Britta take "Friday I'm In Love" and reduce it to its bare essentials, slowing things down and making the music light in their own inimitable style. The Submarines slow down and trip-hop out the punk classic "Boys Don't Cry" and Elk City lays down a sweet, scrubby-rhythm, lo-fi and cool version of "Close To Me" that really makes this compilation shine. Elizabeth Harper & The Matinee do a spot-on cover of "Pictures Of you", a song that maybe had no room for improvement or change, while Julie Peel performs a mostly acoustic guitar version of the classic "A Night Like This", backed simply by low-key drum machine… haunting and beautiful. I would be remiss in not discussing the poppy, yet sonic and thick, Grand Duchy (Black Francis & Violet Clark) version of "A Strange Day" or the album's closer, The Wedding Present giving their punky, rambunctious and coolly-produced treatment of the radio-friendly "High".

Some tributes turn out to be just a bunch of wankers paying poor homage to the bands that have allegedly shaped their sound… Just like Heaven is not one of those. This is a great collection of great artists doing songs by a great band that has obviously been very influential during their career. The songs are all earnest, all very well produced and constructed. Some artists give a more direct reading of the original work, while some take liberties with the songs and bend them to their own sounds. The song selections range from the Cure's earliest work to their mid-90's heyday, but they are all greatly done.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
01. Just Like Heaven performed by JOY ZIPPER
02. The Lovecats performed by TANYA DONELLY & DYLAN IN THE MOVIES
03. Lovesong performed by THE BRUNETTES
04. In Between Days performed by KITTY KARLYLE
05. Friday I'm In Love performed by DEAN & BRITTA
06. Jumping Someone Else's Train performed by LUFF
07. Boys Don't Cry performed by THE SUBMARINES
08. Close To Me performed by ELK CITY
09. The Walk performed by THE ROSEBUDS
10. Pictures Of You performed by ELIZABETH HARPER & THE MATINEE
11. Let's Go To Bed performed by CASSETTES WON'T LISTEN
12. Catch performed by DEVICS
13. A Night Like This performed by JULIE PEEL
14. 10:15 Saturday Night performed by THE POEMS
15. A Strange Day performed by GRAND DUCHY (Violet Clark & Black Francis)
16. High performed by THE WEDDING PRESENT

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