There have been numerous negative reviews of this album, and several five star ratings. I do not believe that it really deserves either. I enjoy each of the bands on this album seperately, anyway, so I don't know how biased I may be. But this album is not bad. I'm also not going to say that if you necessarily liked Schoolhouse Rock (which I did, by the way) that you will like this album. You kind of need to be in touch with this kind of music.
It is a tribute album, not a reworking of old songs. Each artist puts their own touch to the songs, though some leave them closer to the way that they were originally. I personally really like Pavement, but it's a taste that most people seem to lack. So they will probably not appreciate the song as much as I do. Actually, I probably have the weirder tastes. Also a fan of Moby, both early and late, so I enjoyed his reworking of Verb. Warning though: it's more like the Moby tracks from "Everything is Wrong."
Some of the songs less touched were actually the more enjoyable tracks. Blind Melon's rendition of "Three" is wonderful and almost makes me feel like I'm listening to, say, Three Dog Night (ironic, huh?). Ween, The Lemonheads, and Better Than Ezra all do tremendous jobs keeping to the original sounds, while still making the songs their own. Same for Biz Markie's "Energy Blues." "I'm Just A Bill" is done wonderfully, and certainly gives us a different view of how the bill actually feels about all of this beurocracy.
And, hey, let's face it: Skee-Lo's "Mr. Morton" is so wonderful, I had to replay the track immediately after listening to it.
Overall, I think the album deserves four stars. Pluses: Good collection of artists reworking some of the favorite tracks, and every track is worth listening to many times. Cons: Tribute cds are just so...common.