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VARIOUS ARTISTS
FRIENDS AND LOVERS: SONGS OF BREAD
BADMAN

Hidden in most American brains formed during the post-Vietnam era of sensitive singer-songwriters is an unfashionable soundtrack of soft rock that includes at least one Bread tune. Which may explain why Friends and Lovers, a compilation featuring indie bands from that micro-generation, is the rare tribute that doesnít feel postured. Josh Rouseís cozy "It Donít Matter to Me" leads the 14 tracks, about half of which, including those by Erlend Oye, Oranger, and Posies singer-songwriter Jon Auer, repaint the balmy originals by sticking to strummy basics. But the pure pop of Bread is versatile. The arching hooks of "Baby Iím-A Want You" survive the jazzy shuffling Call and Response put them through, and snark-rockers Cake do their best to inject irony into "The Guitar Man" with washes of Moog. That familiar tribute-album stupor sets in only when Holy Sons and Emily Sparks try synthy minimalism on "Last Time" and "Too Much Love," flattening the melodies of songs that wither without their hooks.

BY ANDREW MARCUS


Issue Date: July 15 - 21, 2005
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