The Premise: A compilation of 12 tracks power pop vet Bill Lloyd recorded for assorted and sundry artist tribute albums over the years.
The Verdict: One of the all time no-brainers of no-brainers.
What? You need more? Really you shouldn't, but on the off chance you are one of those people who have been raised by wolves and are only recently returned to civilization I'll go into a little more detail.
Well, for starters, the artists covered read like a Who's Who of good taste: The Beatles, Todd Rundgren, The Byrds, Badfinger, The dB's, and The Hollies are all represented with killer tracks, each one seemingly selected to perfectly showcase Lloyd's particular style of music making. For example, the Badfinger entry "Lonely You" winds up sounding more like a Bill Lloyd song than anything else. So much so you start to wonder what sort of time machine Badfinger used to jump into the future to steal it (time paradoxes be damned.) "Step Inside," originally Lloyd's contribution to the classic Sing Hollies in Reverse tribute disc, is, if anything, better than the original. The multi-tracked vocals layer upon each other dripping with warmth and delicious harmony. It is simply gorgeous start to finish.
In general the versions here are faithful to the original records. Lloyd's version of "Coconut Grove" is a little slower and a little more trippy than The Lovin' Spoonful did it, but then again, why the hell not? John Lennon's "Across the Universe" gets a suitably reverent, if also slower, rendition that sounds both sparse and lush at the same time. Technically speaking that shouldn't be possible but Lloyd pulled it off.
Lest you think Lloyd skews entirely towards 60's and 70's material, he adds classic alt-80's fare with note perfect renditions of The dB's jaunty "Neverland" and Let's Active's hook laden "Every Word Means No" as well as a groovy take on Wreckless Eric's pop staple "Whole Wide World."
This album is so much fun first note to last that any fan of this type of music will only be sorry to hear it end. Of course, that is why God invented "repeat" buttons.
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