Various Artists

At last a tribute compilation on which friends and family outnumber enemies and strangers, but not by much. At least the Pixies lay claim to "Ain't That Pretty at All," which is more than Adam Sandler can say for his hokey-jokey rendering of "Werewolves of London," which nearly ruins the record before it even starts. Otherwise, this assembled-by-loved-ones comp captures Zevon perfectly, allowing room enough for the squishy (Don Henley "Searching for a Heart," Jordan Zevon's "Studebaker") and the sarcastic (Jackson Browne pleading "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" nails it) and everything else in between, including live Springsteen ("My Ride's Here") and Dylan ("Mutineer") that would make a dead man smile. Pete Yorn and Jakob Dylan do their best Warren impressions, but, of course, it's the surprises that count most, among them Jill Sobule's breathy, little-girl reading of "Don't Let Us Get Sick" that could cure any host of ills, save the blues, and the Pixies' contribution, on which Frank B. and Kim D. duet like gunfighters at sunset and send you reaching for Surfer Rosa ahead of that copy of The Envoy you lost a long time ago.
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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky