The idea behind this album is good; take one of the most influential British bands ever and ask other people to give their own interpretations of these classic songs. The delivery, however, falls short of these lofty ambitions. The two main ingredients of the Smiths' success were Marr's jangly guitar and Morrissey's sneering, dramatic delivery of his lyrics. Without these, it takes something special to lift the song, and that something is lacking on most of these tracks.
The album starts poorly with the Boo Radleys cover, on which you can barely hear the lyrics due to a ridiculous fuzz effect on the vocals, and ends with Supergrass doing exactly the same on 'Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others' (but at least they get rid of that annoying loop at the beginning of the track). None of the songs really move far enough to make them worth listening to, and several bands try to turn the song into a rock version. The only track this really works on is 'Bigmouth Strikes Again', but that is ruined by Brian Molko's terrible singing. Later on the album Bis kill 'Boy With A Thorn In His Side' by trying to turn it into a chilled electronic-cum-dance track. The only saving grace is the Divine Comedy's version of 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out', which is stunning. Neil Hannon takes the song and makes it even more moving and sad. Unfortunately even this can't lift the album above mediocre.
If you want Smiths covers then there are many good versions around. There are several on Dermot O'Leary's Saturday Sessions disc, including an amazing version of 'The Boy With A Thorn In His Side' by Scott Matthews, and Jeff Buckley does several Smiths covers too. Borrow this disc from the library or a friend just for the Divine Comedy track, but please don't buy it.