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Yesterday, a tweet from Rolling Stone writer Rob Sheffield caught our eye. It was a photo of Sheryl Crow holding up a nightmare-clown drawing of her own face. When we Googled to find out more, we stumbled upon an insane tribute album we’d missed, apparently meant to accompany the zine she’s holding up. The zine was forgotten as we burrowed deeper into the weird, weird world of the free Bandcamp tribute album Summer of Sheryl.
Crow’s hits are all high-gloss productions, and these 17 covers are anything but. Basic keyboard beats and cheap guitar sounds abound, with many tracks sounding like they were taped into a $10 cassette recorder. Summer of Sheryl also violates the cardinal rule of tribute albums – only one version of each song – by doubling up on hits “Every Day Is A Winding Road,” “Soak Up the Sun,” and “If It Makes You Happy.” There’s three separate covers of “Strong Enough,” plus a cover of the song Crow apparently wrote for a Katie Couric talk show.
A few of the bands here we’ve heard of – Chastity Belt, Tacocat – but most we haven’t. But charms abound in this small, deeply odd collection. Luke Beetham’s “All I Wanna Do” is a garage-punk squall, like if Jay Reatard was secretly a pop fan. Slashed Tires do a weird space-funk version of “Every Day Is A Winding Road.” Rainbow Arabia’s “Strong Enough” sounds like dance music made by kindergartners.
This is maybe the weirdest tribute album we’ve heard since that witch house tribute to Lindsay Lohan and absolutely worth downloading.
Download the full album for free at Bandcamp.