You might hate Madonna, which is a completely rational thing to do. As a person, she’s done a lot of nice things like adopting from developing nations, but she’s also subjected us all to looking at someone the age of our mother in hot pants, and she saw fit to marry Guy Ritchie. There are worse things she’s done, obviously, but let’s get away from her as a person and onto the music she’s made. The production might be terribly poppy and her voice grating, but there’s no denying that she’s had some of the best songs in living memory. Even the lesser stuff like ‘Hung Up’ is infinitely more inspired than anything Black Eyed Peas have churned out.
Mainstream pop isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, which is why Manimal records have seen fit to have a variety of artists cover songs like ‘Material Girl’ and ‘Like a Virgin’ on a tribute album. With 25% of all profits going to Raising Malawi, ‘Through the Wilderness’ features one of the best rosters around, and completely transform the songs. Ariel Pink is one of the more influential names on the list and his version of ‘Everybody’ is one of the more faithful recreations, staying upbeat whilst sounding as if it’s been recorded on an alarm clock. It’s often hard to identify the songs themselves, with the hits being filtered through various noise, shoegaze and dream genres before reachin the end product. In all honesty even if this didn’t have the weight of several decades of pop dominance to use, it would be a phenomenal compilation with Giant Drag, Jeremy Jay, The Bubonic Plague, Winter Flowers and Apollo Heights some of the other names being called upon.
It came out ages ago judging by posts on their myspace page, but I’ve only just come across it, so forgive me. Here’s two tracks – it could’ve been pretty much any one of them, but these ones inparticular are pretty good:
Giant Drag – Oh Father
Mountain Party – Material Girl