Under Review: Mates Of State – Crushes: The Covers Mixtape

I hope this is the end of this current trend.  Not because Crushes is a horrible listen or that Mates Of State don’t give these covers their all, but the covers album concept is starting to reek of unoriginality within the greater blanket of unoriginality.  Mates Of State are the latest (and hopefully last) to join the club.  Crushes is sonically closest to Nada Surf’s if i had a hi-fi in that each song sounds like a Mates Of State tune first, and a cover second.  The duo is thankfully back to its pre-Re-Arrange Us sound, with electric keyboards and driving (often programmed) percussion.   A thorough rearrangement of Girls’ “Laura” begins the set, with Jason Hammel taking an increasingly rare lead vocal.  Like Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby’s Two-Way Family Favourites, Crushes is defined by unusual and intriguing song choices.  Not all the tracks were hits with their original bands, nor are they relative gems of those bands catalogues.  Still, Nick Cave’s “Love Letter” and Belle & Sebastian’s “Sleep The Clock Around” are pleasant inclusions.  The album’s finest moment is “Second Hand News,” where Jason and Kori Gardner deliver a soulful and downright fun take on the Fleetwood Mac classic.  It’s the album’s lone standout, but that’s only relative to Crushes brief running time.  Unfortunately, much of the album is too closely related to The HotratsTurn Ons.  That is, it’s completely egregious.  I would’ve much rather waited another year or two for a proper Mates Of State album than received this easily digestible stopgap right now.  A Mars Volta or Vashti Bunyan cover might be a great selection to put on an otherwise original album, but Crushes never amounts to more than a novelty.  Sure, the covers record itself is a novel concept, but with so many already out this year, Crushes has the disadvantage of being slightly off-putting despite its harmless contents.


~ by E. on July 16, 2010.

One Response to “Under Review: Mates Of State – Crushes: The Covers Mixtape”

  1. covers album = lazy

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