Currently Digging: Newermind – A SPIN Tribute Album

I recently wrote about a tribute album to Buddy Holly featuring new and old artists covering the legend’s hits.  This tribute album I’m writing about today is a completely different animal – an impressive handful of contemporary bands came together for SPIN Magazine to pay homage to one of the finest albums of all time, Nirvana’s Nevermind, which turns 20 this year.

While bands like Surfer Blood and Titus Andronicus give us pretty straightforward covers of the driving tracks “Territorial Pissings” and “Breed,” respectively, most chose to stick to their signature sounds, which provides for an interesting listen.  Midnight Juggernauts synth up “Come As You Are,” Butch Walker and the Black Widows turn “In Bloom” into an optimistic singalong, Foxy Shazam gets a little Elton on “Drain You,” JEFF the Brotherhood turn “Something In the Way” super heavy, and 62-year-old soul crooner Charles Bradley steps out of his comfort zone for “Stay Away,” by far the weirdest cover of the bunch.

But probably the coolest thing about the album (which is free for all – grab it here on the SPIN Facebook page) is the fact that two bands Nirvana famously covered on a regular basis, most notably on the Unplugged album, the Vaselines and the Meat Puppets, return the favor in their own special ways.  As a tribute to what is still a pretty stellar, timeless album twenty years down the road, I’d say the kids over at SPIN did a pretty good job.  I mean, they ought to, after snubbing the disc back in ’91 for Album of the Year over Teenage Fanclub.

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