Album: Joan As Police Woman, Cover (Reveal)

Andy Gill
Friday 11 September 2009 00:00 BST

Cover is Joan Wasser's Pin-Ups, a compilation of cover versions that reveals much about her approach to music.

It's a weird mix of old pop and psychedelia, hip-hop and garage indie, capped by a tremendous reading of the Nina Simone cornerstone "Keeper of the Flame", where her quiet dignity and spare guitar-and-strings arrangement gives the song the stature of a requiem for the High Priestess of Soul. Britney Spears' "Overprotected" becomes a sort of indie fem-rock anthem, while the priapic energy of Hendrix's "Fire" is transformed into a slow, bluesy imprecation. The simple drums/handclaps/a capella vocal arrangement accorded Sonic Youth's "Sacred Trickster" turns it into a "Clapping Song"-style girl-group number, while Adam Ant's "Lady" and Bowie & Iggy's "Baby" are given primitive avant-garde makeovers. The most intriguing material is sourced from hip-hop: both TI's "Whatever You Like" and T-Pain's erotic circus act "Ringleader Man" are treated with requisite panache, while Public Enemy's "She Watch Channel Zero" possesses the most complex arrangement here. Engrossing, and never token in attitude.

Download this: 'Keeper of the Flame', 'She Watch Channel Zero', 'Whatever You Like', 'Sacred Trickster'

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