Many Miles Away

Many Miles Away

A Tribute to the Police

Solarmanite

I’ve always thought that a musician working with someone else’s material is faced with two choices: they can perform a rendition of the original song, or they can perform an interpretation. The former is what you get when you stick to the original version, changing little about it beyond giving it a heavy gloss of whatever style happens to be your particular flavor. I’ve yet to see a rendition that manages to be a better song than the original.

An interpretation is a different matter. If you incorporate a song’s ideas and influences (rather than its melody, structure, etc.) into your own evolved style, the result is usually something which, while easy to identify as related, is difficult to compare. All of the material here falls in that second category, and Many Miles Away is by far the most inventive of the four-five Police tributes I’ve heard lately. There are few recognizable names (Gainesville’s PopCanon is the only one I know), but that doesn’t deter these bands from having the cojones to disassemble and mutate the songs. Of note are Blinder’s stilted “Does Everyone Stare,” Andrew Wagner’s beautifully fingerpicked “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” and lesliwood’s “King of Pain,” probably the most faithful piece on this album, but still complete with its own personality.

Because of this nature, a lot of Police fans may find the album distasteful — to which I say “if you wanted the Police, you should go listen to your Police albums.” Those of us who appreciate a new spin on things will find plenty to hold our interest.

Solarmanite Records; http://www.solarmanite.com

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