Album: Various Artists <!-- none onestar twostar threestar fourstar fivestar -->

Big Star Small World, KOCH
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The Independent Culture

Despite a lifespan of merely three albums, Memphis power-pop combo Big Star wielded an inordinate influence over subsequent generations of American guitar bands, particularly the Eighties indie revival spawned by the likes of REM and The Replacements - who even wrote a catchy tribute to Big Star bandleader, "Alex Chilton". Their career was torpedoed by a series of problems with their label, Stax offshoot Ardent, so it's entirely appropriate that this tribute album, compiled in the mid-Nineties by the band's own drummer Jody Stephens, should suffer likewise, only now receiving a belated release. Hence the rather dated line-up of acts whose time has passed (Gin Blossoms, Juliana Hatfield) or which have already imploded (Afghan Whigs, Whiskeytown). The Posies command the pop/rock interface on "What's Going Ahn" and Afghan Whigs bring an intriguingly dense, swirling texture to "Nighttime". But it's Jeff Tweedy's simple delivery on Wilco's "Thirteen" that gives the album its most affecting moment.

DOWNLOAD THIS: 'Thirteen', 'Nighttime', 'What's Going Ahn'

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