19 August 2008

CD REVIEW
Police in Dub: DubXanne
Echo Beach Records

The global influence of The Police may not rival that of, say, James Brown or The Beatles, but their early pop blend of ska and reggae beats with Sting's message-driven songs was a revelation to many. I've got a soft spot, particularly for their earlier, edgier work. This compilation of reggae reinterpretations of Police songs is somewhat uneven, with cheezy duds like "Can't Stand Losing Dub" [sample] brushing shoulders with the dreamy "The Bed's Too Big Without Dub" [sample].

The album includes covers of some more obscure Police tunes, such as "Once Upon a Daydream" [sample] and "Someone to Talk To" [sample] as well as ones you'll know from the radio: "Message in a Bottle" [sample], "Walking on the Moon" [sample], and "Spirits in a Material World" [sample]. Remarkable to me is how even melodies and bass lines that are part of my personal life soundtrack sound diluted, even simplistic when the punky spirit of the original is replaced with rather uninspired, ordinary reggae beats.

Police in Dub aren't going to find a regular place on my playlist; they're better suited to elevators. But I'm grateful for the prompt to pull out my Police albums for another listen of the original.

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