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Battle For Seattle

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EUR 11,29
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Lista de canciones:
Disco 1
1. Dive
2. Heart-Shaped Box
3. Very Ape
4. Come As You Are
5. Sliver
6. Polly
7. On A Plain
8. About A Girl
9. Son Of A Gun
10. Lithium

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3 de 3 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Little Roy "Battle for Seattle" - The Duff Guide to Ska review 21 de diciembre de 2011
Por Stephen - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: CD de audio
After their monumental, game-changing Nevermind was released in 1991 (launching grunge, in particular, and alternative music in general into the stratosphere), Nirvana were inescapable: they ruled, fueled, and defined college/classic/modern rock radio, the music press, and MTV (back then, if you had told me that these three forms of media would be practically irrelevant 20 years later, I would have laughed loudly in your face). While I wasn't a huge fan--my musical preferences then were more along the lines of Britpop and ska/reggae (obviously)--I couldn't help but admire how at the core of many of Nirvana's hits lay an incredibly keen pop sensibility. These were intensely catchy songs that deserved to be hits, even if they were obscured by a sonic wall of punky grunge fury. That Kurt Cobain could write a damn good melody.

And that's a key component of what makes Little Roy's Battle for Seattle, a roots reggae album of Nirvana covers, such a brilliant (and completely enjoyable) success. A really well-written song is like a high-performance engine--it doesn't matter what car body you dress it up in, it's still going to drive like mad! It isn't limited by genre. But what really allows Battle for Seattle to transcend the usual shortcomings of a tribute album (mimicking the original artist out of an overabundance of reverence or fear of alienating the fans by deviating too much from the source material) is that this is a fully-realized, whip smart re-imagining--or, more appropriately (in Jamaican fashion, naturally), re-versioning of Nirvana's original tracks. Little Roy and Co. own these tunes.

As a result, it doesn't really matter if you are familiar with these cuts off of Bleach, Nevermind, In Utero, or Unplugged (though this record will probably blow the minds of hardcore Nirvana fans)--the tracks here sound as if they had been originally written as reggae songs (which reminds me--embarrassingly--of when I was a teenager in the 80s and heard Smokey Robinson & the Miracles' "Tears of a Clown" on the radio in Memphis, of all places, and thought, "that's a really good cover of the English Beat!") .

Almost from the start, you realize, "Courtney, we're not in Seattle any more!" when the horn line in "Dive" abruptly shifts to incorporate the "Real Rock" rhythm, as if to boldly plant the Rasta colors and claim this territory in the name of Reggae. Clearly, album producers (who came up with this concept in the first place) Prince Fatty and Mutant Hi-Fi put much thought and care into adapting these songs to the reggae idiom. For proof, check out "Come As You Are's" eerie, dubby, Welson organ opening (from the bass line in Nirvana's original, which itself was pilfered from Killing Joke's stunningly furious "Eighties") or the bouncy "Is This Love" Bob Marley-ish arrangement of "Polly" (kind of ironic, since love certainly isn't in the equation here). Even the disposable sexual relationship of "About a Girl" ("I'll take advantage/while you hang me out to dry") is given an almost majestic context with these expansive, echo-throughout-the-landscape horn lines.

One of the other immediately striking things is that you can actually understand Cobain's often difficult, painful, and brutal lyrics (about abusive relationships, severe alienation, drug addiction, and deeply damaged minds), which Little Roy presents in a very straightforward, drama-free manner that's quite effective (the lyrics pack a devastating Joe Frazier punch all by themselves). In the bleak and ugly recounting of what one assumes was Cobain's mercurial, co-dependent relationship with Courtney Love in "Heart Shaped Box," Little Roy deftly brings out the humor of the "Hey!/Wait!/I've got a new complaint" chorus after heavy lyrics like "Throw down your umbilical noose/so I can climb right back" (yes, the heart-shaped box here is her uterus). "Polly"--with its horrific sexually sadistic subtext--comes across as more pathetic and mournful than malevolent and cruel. Little Roy's delivery on "On a Plain"--about a stuck-in-neutral, self-aware, but self-centered heroin user--is perfectly blase and non-commital--even blissed-out ("I love myself/better than you/I know it's wrong/so what should I do?/I'm on a plain/I can't complain"). "Come As You Are" (originally addressed to Nirvana's fans) is probably the closest to the ska/reggae ethos of acceptance and tolerance: "Come doused in mud/soaked in bleach" (and you definitely believe Little Roy's sincere when he states he doesn't have a gun hidden behind his back--Cobain did, but it was only to be aimed at himself).

Just in case you're wondering, Nirvana's (now cliched) signature alternating soft-and-melodic verse/blaring-crunch-blast chorus song structure is (wisely) abandoned--it's just not a reggae thing. All of Nirvana's bellowing rage is sublimated--reggae doesn't wear its anger on its sleeve like punk or grunge. It's expressed through supremely confident, never-faultering righteous indignation--a deadly cool, slow burn (captured best here as Little Roy sings "Lithium's" defiant in-the-face-of-madness chorus: "I like it/I'm not gonna crack/I miss you/I'm not gonna crack/I love you/I'm not gonna crack/I saved you/I'm not gonna crack").

One last comment about this album's sound: Battle for Seattle's super warm production by Prince Fatty and Mutant Hi-Fi conveys a clarity and immediacy that are really best heard through a proper stereo from a CD or LP. You'll miss way too much in the compressed Mp3 format playing through your computer speakers or iPod/iPhone earbuds. Go old school with this one.

Little Roy's Battle for Seattle takes all kinds of wild risks in covering Nirvana's almost sacred songbook, but ends up triumphing big time. There are mighty few reggae records this year that can match the full-on glories of this one.
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
I'm So Happy 'Cause Today I Found My Friends: Joy Love & Respect 17 de septiembre de 2011
Por Coley Kev - Publicado en Amazon.com
Oh Lordy - how good is this... am I really the first person to review it here???

A close friend of mine put me onto a couple of pre-release YouTube postings, luckily in time for us to catch the great man do pretty much every song at the Reading Festival on the festival republic stage. As a lover of Nirvana from the release of Bleach (and tragically being old enough to experience the joy of it when it first came out) and also as a lover of true-soul Roots Reggae, this was like a mad clash of worlds that seemed like a personal dream created for me and was without a doubt my highlight of the festival. Little Roy delivered every lyric as if it had come from his own heart, smiling, totally engaging with the ever swelling crowd and, most importantly, without any kind of lyric sheet in evidence at all. It seemed impossible, but the songs of a desperately torn and unhappy man had been filled with joy and love, pure and simple, and rest assured, the album has captured all of this in the studio. Songs like Lithium and Sliver probably lend themselves most easily to a brilliant reworking and the weight and depth of Come As You Are is simply fantastic, but for me the absolute genius of Little Roy and Producer Prince Fatty's interpretations is most evident with the darker songs - Heart Shaped Box and Polly are simply heartbreaking and devastatingly beautiful, delivered by a man who is feeling every word and allowing the listener to clearly hear every syllable. Having immersed myself in this record for the last 10 days, I feel the same listening to it now as when Little Roy finished his set at Reading - when the final notes of Lithium fade you just get the feeling that Kurt is resting a little easier thanks to this astounding project. So thank you Little Roy, massive love to you and all involved with this release, you have made me and a lot of people I know very happy indeed and given us a very unexpected and warm end to the British Summer, please come and tour soon!

I got the album on the vinyl and it sounds gorgeous, you should get it on whatever format allows you to listen to it as many times as you possibly can - I guess I'll end up having to get the download for the I-Pod, but it's currently sounding awesome on my old skool 70s separates. My true hope is that this sells well enough and touches enough hearts that someone somewhere will take a walk through Little Roy's back catalogue, re-issue it and give us the chance to buy his music without having to track down expensive original vinyl copies, first release; the "Prophesy" album please!
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Awesome Covers of Nirvana! 23 de agosto de 2012
Por Kendra Rios - Publicado en Amazon.com
Compra verificada
This is an interesting album that combines grunge and reggae, Battle for Seattle by Little Roy transforms Nirvana to another level of enjoyment. Dive is my favorite cover in this set. Check it out!
1 de 1 personas piensan que la opinión es útil
Great cover, who is this Little Roy? 28 de junio de 2013
Por R. G. Burk - Publicado en Amazon.com
Compra verificada
I had never heard of Little Roy, but became an instant fan upon hearing Dive. This album puts a whole new spin on Nirvana's prose and transcends the "cover album" genre.
Amazing and very emotional 24 de septiembre de 2015
Por Matthew Reynolds - Publicado en Amazon.com
Formato: CD de audio
Amazing and very emotional. Little Roy and Prince Fatty's impeccable execution of this content is one thing, for sure. But there's something special in the concept itself, and it shows in the care with which the songs were selected. And I think that it all boils down to the lyrics, and how Roy sings them. Kurt Cobain's words absolutely fit in a roots context. Yes, roots reggae is generally more direct in addressing politics and spirituality. But the struggle against Babylon is just as prevalent in Nirvana's music, even if it is expressed in subtext. And Little Roy's treatment of these songs--and their lyrics--is a blessing. This is not a novelty album. It's not a fan letter. It's a benediction. Roy breathes joy into this material in a way that brings a sweet sort of closure to Kurt and his music, while maintaining roots music's enduring reminder to keep struggling, to keep pushing, to stay positive in an age of war, greed, and famine. I cannot think of a project that is a more poignant reminder that we are all one people.

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