Thumbs up!If you’ve ever thought ”Hey, you know what this Radiohead anthem needs? A raspy Fraggle!” then you’re already happy. But Covered‘s take on ”Creep” weirdly works.
Thumbs down! Her distinctive delivery starts to lie over the whole thing like a scratchy blanket, turning songs from Metallica, Kanye, and Colbie Caillat one gravel-gargling shade of Gray.
Thumbs up! The 15-year-old U.K. songbird, already YouTube famous for her covers, delivers sweetly melancholy takes on Bon Iver, Phoenix, and Fleet Foxes on her self-titled debut.
Thumbs down! The novelty of youth aside, nothing here beats the originals. But it should do bang-up business as pretty, unobtrusive background noise for spas and wine bars.
Thumbs up! Let It Be Roberta finds her killing a strictly-Beatles playlist softly, including a delicate ”Hey Jude,” swaying ”If I Fell,” and slow-burn-bluesy ”Oh Darling.”
Thumbs down! The lady is 73 years old, and she sounds fantastic — if a bit more trebly than in days of yore. The production, though, could stand a little (and, sometimes, a lot) less lite-jazz fog.
Thumbs up! Saluting the Great Oddballs (Townes Van Zandt, Dean Martin), Release Me is oddly great. Check his twist on Charley Jordan‘s ”Keep It Clean,” where he bear-muzzles a man.
Thumbs down! His creepy warbling on ”Baby, It’s Cold Outside” makes him sound stalkerish, especially when his lady asks, ”What’s in this drink?” Um, club soda, gin, and a splash of roofies.
Thumbs up! Yes, there’s some Bob Dylan and Big Star on Underwater Sunshine, but the band is best on the deep cuts, such as a folky, harmonized tribute to Pure Prairie League‘s ”Amie.”
Thumbs down! ”Jumping Jesus” imagines the Savior living on a houseboat. It’s a cover of Crows frontman Adam Duritz’s old band, Sordid Humor. Sorry, man. We ain’t laughing yet.