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A Song for My Father Review

by Zane Ewton

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Somebody somewhere had the bright idea that children of famous musicians should do a compilation album. They could cover one of their father's big hits to pay tribute. The whole thing reeks of gooey sentimentalism that will probably force a lot of middle-aged dads to hope for a necktie instead of this CD as a gift for this Father's Day.

A Song for My Father is so glossy that it detracts from much of the charm that made these songs, many considered classics, become so memorable.

Salvador Santana, son of one-time rock shaman and now Clive Davis puppet Carlos, gives "Evil Ways" a jazzy makeover. Not good jazz, the kind of jazz that would make this track be a perfect fit for Jennifer Lopez's next romantic comedy. Don't expect any of the elder Santana's legendary fretwork, nary a guitar can be heard here.

Mathew and Gunnar Nelson, otherwise known as hair metal hit makers Nelson, provide a pleasant, unobtrusive take on Ricky Nelson's "Travelin' Man". Jim Croce must not have let his son listen to anything other than sensitive singer songwriters. His one A.J. Croce performs "Lover's Cross" like it was still 1973.

Jen Chapin's sleepy version of Harry Chapin's "Cats in the Cradle" is coma inducing while "Midnight Rider" by Gregg Allman's son's band is simple southern rock by the numbers.

The singer songwriter vibe continues through quiet performances by the spawns of Carole King and James Taylor. Bob Marley's son Ky-Mani has a voice reminiscent of his old man's but is stuck with a generic reggae track in "Soul Shakedown Party".

Leonard Cohen should be proud. He writes good songs and his son provides one of the lonely highlights of this compilation with "Bird on a Wire".

There is not a single "please love me daddy" project that does not include something from the ladies of Wilson Phillips. They split up this time to cover both the Beach Boys' "Warmth of the Sun" and The Mommas and the Poppas "Got a Feeling".

Spencer Gibb, not sure which Bee Gee he sprang from, does a lovely version of "Run to Me". The finale is Sarah Lee Guthrie's generic reading of Arlo Guthrie's "Coming in to Los Angeles".

Considering the pedigree of songwriting talent and performers who got knocked up and paid nannies to raise these kids, you would expect this to be much better. Stick with the originals.

This CD is available on at Target stores and Target.com. See the purchase link below


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