It takes mighty big huevos to feel up to the task of reinterpreting a clutch of rock classics from the ’80s—songs still swooned over, picked apart, and unconditionally loved by a generation weaned on Voltron and Bret Easton Ellis. Of course, if anyone were foolhardy enough to take on said task, it would be resolutely idiosyncratic troubadour Grant-Lee Phillips, who recasts classics like “Wave Of Mutilation,” “The Killing Moon,” and “So. Central Rain (I’m Sorry)” as hazy, countrified ballads. It’s a disarming approach that invites you closer, rather than shocking the faithful with radical transformations. The songs are well-chosen, with an emphasis on bands whose music resonates in the Top 40 tracks of today; those unfamiliar with any of the tunes covered here might just be inspired to pick up a copy of Life’s Rich Pageant or Strangeways, Here We Come after spinning this disc a few times. Nineteeneighties doesn’t ruffle too many alt-rock feathers—the twilit reading of “Age Of Consent” is a particular beauty—and Phillips’s husky tenor makes this collection of college radio staples feel less like ironic cash-in and more like a genuine, affectionate nod of gratitude.
- Release Date
- August 7, 2006
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