Various How Soon Is Now?: The Songs of the Smiths

You know a band has reached some kind of status that could classify it as legendary when people are getting together to make a compilation like this. How Soon Is Now? features 12 fairly obscure bands covering some of the Smiths’ better-known material. Cover albums tend to teach a lesson, however unintentional, and the most typical of these is that another band’s greatness is rarely duplicated. In this case, the lesson is that the Smiths wrote great songs, the proof of which shows when the Smiths’ songs still sound good no matter who’s playing them. Still, the potential of this compilation lies with how much appreciation die-hard Smiths fans are willing to give. Hundred Reasons’ version of "How Soon Is Now?” starts out promising but falls apart halfway through, as it lacks the climatic emotion of the original version. But the low points on the album are matched with interpretations that deserve approval. Emo darlings Cursive attempt the upbeat "Frankly Mr. Shankly” and it ends up working out. Another track that plays out well but is a bit of a surprise is "Shoplifters of the World Unite,” covered by thisGirl. This is what the Smiths would have sounded like if they’d been born out of grunge. Sure, no one will ever do the Smiths as well as the original boys themselves, but it’s interesting to hear others try. (Sorepoint)