Camper Van Beethoven – Popular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty (2008)

Posted by on August 10, 2013as

front coverPopular Songs of Great Enduring Strength and Beauty collects 18 cuts from mercurial post-punk/indie pop/garage folk legends Camper Van Beethoven, marking the group’s first foray into the murky world of the “career overview.” Like the band’s nearly 25-year career, Strength and Beauty is built on the CVB holy trinity of endurance, charisma, and attitude, all three of which were put to the test when the band approached Virgin Records about buying back the rights to 1988’s Our Beloved Revolutionary Sweetheart and 1989’s Key Lime Pie. In keeping with big-label stereotypes, the answer was no, so CVB re-recorded five tracks for the anthology, doing everything in their power to re-create the magic as faithfully as they could. David Lowery’s voice tries admirably to emulate its ’80s incarnation on classics like Key Lime’s “All Her Favorite Fruit” and “When I Win the Lottery,” and the musicianship and production are top-notch, but fans who held those final two records close to their hearts during the ensuing Cracker years will notice the difference. That said, the rest of the album is top-notch, featuring enough instant classics like “Take the Skinheads Bowling” and “The Day That Lassie Went to the Moon” to turn a whole new generation on to punk-infused, ska-kissed Americana. At best, it’s a tasty sampler on which to judge whether or not a listener is ready to dive into the mammoth five-disc Cigarettes & Carrot Juice: The Santa Cruz Years, and it dutifully doles out all of the quirky charm, genre-bending musicianship, and good-natured invective that infected so many people during the band’s heydays.

mp3 160 kbps | 69 MB | UL | CL

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