Critique: I Predict A Clone

Syndicate Magazine
July 1994, Volume 9, Issue 2
© 1994 Syndicate Publications, Inc.
Page 32

Various Artists
[3 stars]

Tribute albums are usually a mixed bag. You have those artists who follow the original tracks note for note and you have those artists who want to remake the song in their own image. The artists contributing to the Steve Taylor tribute I Predict A Clone, all the procedes of which go toward charity, are more from the second school than the former; nearly every artists on this album targets what it was that made them love Steve Taylor's songwriting in the first place, and prove that love by reinventing the package but leaving the core intact.

And what an interesting mix we end up with: Circle Of Dust reconstructs "Am I In Sync" into an industrial death dance; Starflyer 59 reworks "Sin For A Season" into pure noise, the dark melody awash in droning guitars; Fleming and John reorients "Harder To Believe Than Not To" into a whispery "Night In Tunisia" jaunt; Dighayzoose regurgitates "Steeplechase" and "I Want To Be A Clone" into a garage medley. There are also remakes from Hot Pink Turtle, Sixpence None The Richer, Deliverance and The Wayside.

Again, we still have a mixed bag. Bride gives a hard edged reading to "We Don't Need No Colour Code," but take themselves way too seriously to understand it (and chop out half the words to in the process). Argyle Park gives "Drive He Said" the industrial treatment, sampling the original vocals and adding a dash of theater the original needed. And Sanctified Glory Mountain Revival Family destroys "Guilty By Association" in the name of hillbilly music, ironically coming the closest of all to understanding the magic of Steve Taylor.

The final result? An album where everyone who listens will come away with about three songs they really like, three songs they really hate and five songs they can tolerate okay. The problem is almost nobody will come up with the same 3/3/5 combination.

Somehow, I think Steve Taylor perfers it that way.

Chris Well