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A Mixed Bag,
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This review is from: The Wire And All the Pieces Matter OST Five Years Of Music From The Wire (Deluxe Complete Edition) (Audio CD)
At the end of series 4 of The Wire, one of the best TV series of recent years, there's a four-minute montage of different scenes looking at where the various (surviving) characters have ended up. Over the top was playing Paul Weller's masterful rendition of Dr John's I Walk On Gilded Splinters, and it was that track that led me to this compilation. I have loved the song ever since hearing Humble Pie perform in back in the seventies, and a 25-minute version features on Rockin The Filmore, possibly the best live rock album ever made. Weller's version is a different beast, with a much lighter touch on the instrumentation and a lilt rather than an assault on the senses.
Other standouts on the collection include The Nighthawks' rendition of another classic, Sixteen Tons (they were great when they appeared on the series, but I don't remember them playing this), Solomon Burke's Night Train, and the Pogues' The Body Of An American. There's also a suite of hiphop tracks towards the end, some of which are passable, some not.
Steve Earle gets a look in with Feel Alright, which is Alright, I guess, but why didn't the producers of this compilation include his version of the opening song, Tom Waits's Way Down In The Hole? It leaves a definite Hole, not including it. The other four versions are good, but I would have liked all five.
Most of the rest is filler.
Michael Franti's Oh My God isn't up to his usual standard; Marvin Gaye did this kind of thing better in What's Goin On? Shame, because I've liked Franti since The Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy, and I once ate in the same restaurant as him and his entourage, and they were the best behaved people you could imagine.
It's amusing having Efuge Efuge on there, but it doesn't fit musically, and the amusement doesn't last long.
Overall, a bit of a hotchpotch, as you'd expect. As a memento of a great TV series it serves OK, but musically it's too inconsistent to really hang together.