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When We Were the New Boys

When Rod was a new boy was a quarter century ago, and it’s never been so evident as on the modern-rock covers that constitute a large chunk of his umpteenth album, When We Were the New Boys. Though Stewart’s randy rasp can still marvel and move, he can’t help but turn Oasis’ ”Cigarettes and Alcohol” and Primal Scream’s ”Rocks” into hammy, irony-challenged showbiz rock (or Ron Sexsmith’s ”Secret Heart” into banal, movie-soundtrack fodder). Only a gripping version of Skunk Anansie’s ”Weak” beats the original. It could have been worse, though: Rod could have gone techno. C

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