Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album Music Album Reviews

Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album Music Album Reviews
St. Vincent, Low, Courtney Barnett, the Linda Lindas and more highlight the enduring influence of Sleater-Kinney on this track-by-track tribute to the band’s breakthrough 1997 album.

It’s hard to hear a song from Sleater-Kinney’s heyday without thinking of the individual contributions of each of its three members. What would “Words and Guitar” be without the piercing exclamations of Corin Tucker, the nimble riffs of Carrie Brownstein, or the rollicking drums of Janet Weiss? When Tucker belts “take the noise in my head,” each syllable razor-sharp, you can’t help but feel a sense of urgency. It isn’t a song about simply enjoying music—it’s a song about music as a life source.

A good cover shouldn’t try to replicate its original, but instead highlight the strengths of both its performer and songwriters. Take Courtney Barnett, who covers “Words and Guitar” for Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album, a track-for-track tribute commemorating the 25th anniversary of Sleater-Kinney’s breakthrough third album. Barnett barely tweaks the tempo, but she gives the song a more lenient attitude; she doesn’t try to mimic Tucker’s sharp snarl, instead letting her mid-range deadpan flow. It doesn’t feel forced or xeroxed but perfectly attuned to Barnett’s skillset.

With 13 artists total covering each of the original album’s songs, Dig Me In is a slightly unbalanced collection that attempts to distill what made Sleater-Kinney’s 1997 album so powerful and enduring. Its high points do that successfully: TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe makes “The Drama You’ve Been Craving” barely recognizable, swapping its frenetic spunk for sultry synth-pop. Black Belt Eagle Scout’s take on “It’s Enough” keeps its chugging guitars at the forefront, but they’re blanketed in a healthy dose of fuzz that, along with Katherine Paul’s subdued murmurs, turns the original’s insistence into brooding, cryptic allure. The most drastic change comes thanks to Low, who strip “Dance Song ’97” down to little more than just vocals and a leaden bassline; when Alan Sparhawk and Mimi Parker’s voices converge to declare the track’s desires—“You’re the one that I saw/You’re the one that I want”—their words sounds less romantic than haunted, or even sinister.

Because Dig Me Out includes some of the best songwriting of Sleater-Kinney’s career, the renditions on Dig Me In also underscore its performers’ weaknesses. Jeff Tweedy doesn’t pretend his voice carries the same intensity as Tucker’s, but when Wilco otherwise copy and paste “One More Hour” note for note, the result is feckless. On the other hand, St. Vincent’s “Dig Me Out” encroaches on the opposite extreme, bogged down by clumsy, grating electronic production; meanwhile, alt-pop singer Self Esteem shrinks the ardor of “Heart Factory” into an ultimately forgettable acoustic ditty. Then, there’s Tyler Cole—the musician/producer best known for his collaborations with Willow—who augments “Buy Her Candy” into an overstuffed, heavy-handed slice of arena rock that strips Tucker’s version of all nuance and intimacy.

One of the most genuinely fun moments on Dig Me In is a faithful performance of “Little Babies” by teen and pre-teen punks the Linda Lindas, who’ve heavily acknowledged the influence of Sleater-Kinney in their music and make their appreciation clear in their performance. To attempt to eclipse Sleater-Kinney with a cover of their song is to predestine failure, but the herd of artists featured on Dig Me In—who range in age as widely as they do genre—encapsulate the band’s endless relevance and lasting legacy.

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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album Music Album Reviews Sleater-Kinney - Dig Me In: A Dig Me Out Covers Album Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on November 03, 2022 Rating: 5


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