Album review of the month: Artists United for Africa, "In The Name Of Love" 

This review also appears on my other blog on Xanga.

Anyway, a whole bunch of Christian recording artists decided to record a U2 tribute album in order to increase awareness about AIDS, poverty and other issus in Africa. For each album purchased 50 cents goes to World Vision.

The tracks that stayed faithful to the original U2 recordings are uniformly good: Gloria by Audio Adrenaline, Mysterious Ways by TobyMac, Pride by Delirious?, and Where The Streets Have No Name by Chris Tomlin.

Starfield's recording of 40 is quite good as well. It's a hard rock version that still manages to have a melodic feel to it. But while Starfield added a more prominent guitar piece to 40, Nichole Nordeman left Grace as a fairly stripped-down performance. She sings it pretty well, though.

Tait does an excellent acoustic version of One.

Todd Agnew's straight-ahead hard rock version of When Love Comes To Town is passable, but it completely loses the bluesy feel of the original in both the vocals and the guitar work. Agnew also changes the lyrics slightly: instead of singing "I used to make love under a red sunset/I was making promises I would soon forget/She was as pale as the lace of her wedding gown/But I left her standing before love came to town", he changes the first line of the verse to "I used to fall in love under a red sunset". The verse loses some of its meaning that way, I think; the original idea is that before "love came to town", the singer used to live a life of empty sex and romance without commitment.

The heavy metal versions of Sunday Bloody Sunday by Pillar and Beautiful Day by Sanctus Real are pretty lousy.

Jars of Clay's attempted boogie-woogie version of All I Want Is You doesn't work at all. Maybe they deserve some credit for trying, but not much.

Sixpence's version of Love Is Blindness starts out with an acoustic guitar, a spaced-out synth line and a glockenspiel (?) and then adds a piano and an electric guitar. It sounds quite bizarre, but it's worth a listen.

The hip-hop stylings of Grits' With Or Without You are an absolute abomination.

Well, there you go. As I said at the top, it's a rather uneven effort, but there are a few gems in there.


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