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Various: Guilt By Association

Album: Guilt By Association
Label: Engine Room

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The concept of tribute albums peaked about a decade ago, back when the idea hadn't repeatedly proved ill-advised. Guilt By Association messes with the formula enough—its subject isn't one artist, but rather "guilty pleasure" songs—and gathers enough respectable indie names to make it worth at least a passing glance, though never a front-to-back listen. Seemingly serious dudes add inappropriate weight to seemingly dumb songs (Devendra Banhart tackles Oasis; Will Oldham gets sexy on Mariah Carey's "Can't Take That Away"), while other bands just transform big hits into their own formulas. Superchunk and Luna might as well have written "Say My Name" and "Straight Up," respectively—here, they sound sort of like Superchunk and Luna songs. On the whole, though, it's a trifle, and worthy of only trifling attention.