Various Artists - ˇPOLICIA! A Tribute To The Police
Release Date: February 8, 2005
Record Label: The Militia Group
Overall Score: 8.6
Since this is a compilation, I’ll run it down song by song.
1. Brandston – King of Pain: This is a great opening track. Brandston adapts this song quite well with their classic steady beat and smooth vocals. The song is countered by gang vocals while it builds up to a dramatic conclusion/chorus. The song is really just classic Brandston and could be easily mistaken for one of their own songs.
2. Fall Out Boy – Roxanne: This was one of the tracks I was looking forward to the most, but it was ultimately disappointing. Fall Out Boy’s rendition of this song begins with an extremely dark and thick sounding guitar that punches and drives until Patrick’s voice hits. Then for the next 3 minutes, all we hear is “Roxanne…You don’t have to put on the red light” over and over, and over and over again. I understand that this is the structure of the song, but a punk band like Fall Out Boy needed to put a little more effort into it, or at least vary the inflection in their vocals a little bit. A boring, repetitive cover by a band that has much more potential than this.
3. Motion City Soundtrack – Truth Hits Everybody: Right from the get-go, you can tell this is an awesome cover. MCS’s classic synth and cries of “whoa” lend it self in the intro, which leads into a catchy verse and a stellar chorus. The lyrical flow of this track is unbelievable as everything flows into a dance vibe. MCS’s classic use of varied instrumentation including piano make this the best cover on the compilation, hands down. They took a great song and made it even more interesting.
4. No Motiv – Synchronicity: I’ve always been a fan of No Motiv’s strained and deeper vocals, but it doesn’t work in this song. The vocals just sound so forced it’s almost painful. The instrumentation is decent, but once again doesn’t offer anything new.
5. Limbeck – So Lonely: Limbeck brings its trademark acoustic alt-country style on this track. Soft calls of “So Lonely” are backed by tambourines and shakers as Limbeck turns this song into an acoustic wonder. Extremely well done.
6. Big Collapse – Next to You: The CD hits a change in pace here as Big Collapse brings late 90’s style alternative riffs to their rendition of the song. It’s got a real Foo Fighters feel to it, except with crazy bass lines. An interesting variation in pace on the album but overall an unfulfilling song as it grows old like many of the covers on this album tend to.
7. Maxeen – Murder by Numbers: I’ve never really been a fan of Maxeen, and the intro to this song consists of just drums and vocals. It’s followed by some truly bizarre song interpretation, with haunting and heavily distorted bass lines. But once the chorus hits, Maxeen manages to save grace. The wailing vocals bring back memories of the original. Wild instrumentation continues to pervade the verse, with dark synth effects and random guitar licks. While the chorus is very poppy and straight forward, the verse remains just…bizarre. It manages to build up really well. Maxeen if nothing else has created an extremely interesting rendition of this song, and after a few listens I found myself really enjoying it.
8. The Pale – Walking on the Moon: This song is an example of the way covers should be. The Pale takes their own distinctive style and melds it into the original song without completely changing it. The Pale’s bouncy and quirky bass lines are complemented by bright drum beats with tight fills. Another great cover on what is becoming an excellent comp.
9. Underoath – Wrapped Around Your Finger: This is another song I was extremely excited for, and Underoath didn’t let down. It’s classic Underoath style backed by an incredible 80’s style synth effect in the background. There’s not much to say – Underoath could have placed this song on “They’re Only Chasing Safety” and it would have fit in beautifully. There’s a great balance of pop and hardcore vocals while the beat stays true to Underoath’s more “new school” style of drumming – aggressive yet pop-friendly. I really like what they did with this song. It does contain the only screaming on the album, so it might throw listeners for a loop.
10. Anadivine – Every Little Thing She Does Is: Is this really Anadivine? This is a pop-rock song with really basic drum beats and vocals. It’s a very bland cover by a band that has much more talent than what they display in this song. While there are flashes of brilliance, as a whole the song just doesn’t come together. The minute Anadivine enters the realm of technical drumming and off-beats, the song returns to the straight-up pop chorus. While they have a song format to follow, Anadivine really could have tweaked with it a little more to make it more interesting.
11. Watashi Wa – Message in a Bottle: While this was originally slated to be a Taking Back Sunday cover, it’s great to hear Watashi Wa again. The band displays their uncanny ability to write great pop-rock music. I just love their interpretation of this song – it’s the perfect blend of Watashi Wa’s straight forward infectious pop-rock with the Police’s classic original rendition.
12. Copeland – Every Breath You Take: The final track is of course the Police’s most popular and beautiful song. It’s only appropriate that one of the most beautiful voices in music today covers it. I don’t even know where to begin on this song. Copeland’s version is simply breathtaking. Acoustic guitar and piano guide this song from start to finish. While the song initially lacks the classic guitar line the song is known by, it pops up towards the end not as a driving beat, but as a soft counter to the vocals. It’s the perfect ending to an all around amazing compilation.
In conclusion, this is one of the best compilations to come out in a long time. While there are definitely weak spots, there are really no awful songs and a few songs are unbelievable. The key difference in songs is that are the best are ones where the band took their own style and infused it into the great melodies of The Police.