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Various Artists
The Immaculate Deception: A Tribute To The Music Of Madonna
Independents Anonymous/ Delirium Records


There is something intrinsically beautiful about a bunch of punk bands you've never heard of getting together and recording unique versions of Madonna songs. From her very first record to more recent tracks, the queen of pop's catalog is well represented here, and in many places, represented in a way that may even make the queen swoon a bit. The focus is on her earlier tracks, which I would have to say have had more impact on most artists more than her recent William Orbit produced tracks, and certainly more than her duets with Britney Spears.

The Toast lend a reggae dub feel to "Material Girl", dragging the vocals in a dramatic fashion and maximizing the potential of one of Madonna's earliest and best hits. "Frozen" is presented in a very dark rock feel by Doom Kounty Electric Chair. Think Soundgarden and Big Wreck getting together and making some tremendous grooves together. "Hanky Panky" gets the rockabilly treatment from Danny Dean & The Homewreckers. It's a lively track with everything you would expect from good rockabilly, but with the additional flavor of some of Madonna's more pronouncedly ridiculous lyrics. Lift Off's version of "Ray Of Light" maintains the smooth character of the original, while adding a bit more chaos and relying on a more guitar based punk vibe. Wirebox obviously spent some time studying the great Laibach version of "Like A Prayer" before making their own attempt at my most favoritest of Madonna songs. Their track is filled with keyboard choirs and industrial drumbeats. Think of it as Laibach-lite.

"Justify My Love" is well represented here by The Put-On's. They approach a very off rhythm Madonna track in a very off-kilter style. The rhythms are oddly hypnotic and the e-bow drone of the guitars only furthers that feeling. The male/female vocals perfectly compliment this oddly insidious track. Indie rock rears its emo head on Mega Manics version of "Live To Tell". It's a downbeat track with off key vocals and thickly produced guitars. Very nicely done, this is one of the more natural sounding covers on this record.

Whether you are a fan of Madonna, or just like to discover some great new bands… or you just want a good laugh… check out The Immaculate Deception. Of course, if you are in a band yourself, and you've ever sat around drinking with your bandmates, surely you've thought of things like this yourself… what song would you cover?

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. Burnin' Up - Drag
2. Material Girl - The Toast
3. Frozen - Doom Kounty Electric Chair
4. Into the Groove - Statica
5. Hanky Panky - Danny Dean & The Homewreckers
6. Dress You Up - The Relatives
7. Music/Ray Of Light - Lift Off
8. Bad girl - Cruzer
9. Like A Prayer - Wirebox
10. Justify My Love - The Put-On's
11. Live To Tell - Mega Manic
12. Borderline - The Hoodlumz


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Lee Koch



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