Plays the Hits

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Lymangrover
If this album art doesn't bring back fond memories of a time when neon pink and Ray-Bans were the in style, you may be too young to be interested by the retro aspect of Plays the Hits, but if you had an affinity for listening to FM radio on your boom box as a kid and want to stay relevant with the newfangled music of today, this might be right up your alley. Imagine an '80s K-Tel compilation album performed by Pinback or Yo La Tengo -- the disc is a bit like that, and is surprisingly entertaining. Sexton Blake covers pop classics like Kim Carnes'"Betty Davis Eyes" and strips them down to minimal compositions of Casio beats, cheap guitars, Fender Rhodes, and dreamy ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason Lymangrover
If this album art doesn't bring back fond memories of a time when neon pink and Ray-Bans were the in style, you may be too young to be interested by the retro aspect of Plays the Hits, but if you had an affinity for listening to FM radio on your boom box as a kid and want to stay relevant with the newfangled music of today, this might be right up your alley. Imagine an '80s K-Tel compilation album performed by Pinback or Yo La Tengo -- the disc is a bit like that, and is surprisingly entertaining. Sexton Blake covers pop classics like Kim Carnes'"Betty Davis Eyes" and strips them down to minimal compositions of Casio beats, cheap guitars, Fender Rhodes, and dreamy vocals. In Josh Hodges' reconstruction, he masterfully breathes new life into songs that were destroyed over time by excessive radio play. The Moog Cookbook had a similar concept, but it relied on a camp factor to succeed by using synths and vocoders. Hodges manages to sound sincere and sentimental throughout, even when he whispers lyrics by Paula Abdul or LL Cool J. Other alternative songwriters Ben Folds for instance have covered rap songs before, but it's rarely been tackled without a comedic flair; here he sounds as melancholy as Elliott Smith when he sighs and sings "I Need Love." Once it's stripped of its dated, gated drums and cheesy keys, even a trite song like Milli Vanilli's "Girl You Know It's True" is revised to be a shoegazer's paradise with guitar drones and lush, airy vocals. Some choices, like Elton John's "Daniel" or ELO's "Evil Woman" were probably better left in their original form, but for the most part, the updated versions generally serve their intended purpose and revitalize the melodies lovingly. It's good clean fun, served straight-faced for your pleasure, and even if you don't like indie rock, this disc is probably worth purchasing just to play an ironic game of Name That Tune with your friendly neighborhood hipster.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/10/2007
  • Label: Expunged Records
  • UPC: 751937305620
  • Catalog Number: 5
  • Sales rank: 183,820

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Hungry Heart (4:26)
  2. 2 Bette Davis Eyes (4:09)
  3. 3 Young Turks (4:43)
  4. 4 Making Love out of Nothing at All (5:21)
  5. 5 I Need Love (4:06)
  6. 6 The Logical Song (3:32)
  7. 7 Oh l'Amour (3:15)
  8. 8 Girl You Know It's True (4:05)
  9. 9 Rush Rush (3:48)
  10. 10 Daniel (4:31)
  11. 11 Evil Woman (4:50)
  12. 12 Life in a Northern Town (3:39)
  13. 13 Human Nature (4:09)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sexton Blake Primary Artist
Josh Hodges Track Performer
Technical Credits
Roger Hodgson Composer
Elton John Composer
Jeff Lynne Composer
Bruce Springsteen Composer
Rod Stewart Composer
Carmine Appice Composer
Jim Steinman Composer
Vince Clarke Composer
Richard Davies Composer
Jackie DeShannon Composer
Bobby Ervin Composer
Duane Hitchings Composer
Nick Laird-Clowes Composer
Peter Lord Composer
Kevin Savigar Composer
Bernie Taupin Composer
Donna Weiss Composer
Steve Ettinger Composer
James Todd Smith Composer
Josh Hodges Producer, Audio Production
Tim Edgar Engineer
Jason Locken Artwork, Graphic Design
Anthony McNamer Executive Producer
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