In the wake of countless anti-Bush books, albums, and playing cards comes yet another compilation that's anti-Bush (MoveOn.org), but not as direct as others (the liner notes merely want you to "vote for what you want, whatever that may be"). Yet, it doesn't matter where your political standing lies, because there's something for just about everyone (particularly indie-rock fans) here, and, thankfully, most all of it is extraordinarily good.
All songs are domestically unreleased, some just for this compilation, some only available on import CD's or obscure B-sides. They range from funny to serious to light-hearted to dead serious. Thankfully, there is no "one major highlight" - there are several. Continuing a pop-single success streak, will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas delivers a bouncy, fun, and poignant jam called "Money" (wonderful use of strings), Ben Kweller has more fun with "Jerry Falwell Destroyed the Earth" than he did on his entire last album (while still making quite the political stance), R.E.M. delivers a powerful one that perfectly mixes their latter-day electro-experimentalism with their classic songwriting style circa-"Automatic for the People." Again, there is something for everyone.
There are some truly odd choices though - Clem Snide deliver the all-accapella "Ballad of David Icke," while the Yeah Yeah Yeahs give forth a live version of "Date With the Night" where Karen O's voice is screeching so much, she almost sounds like a man at the start of the song. Meanwhile, the Long Winters pulls off a truly unique Flaming Lips imitation, while Blink-182 deliver a remix of "I Miss You" that starts off even more emotional than the original mix but sounds almost exactly the same as the original around the 2nd chorus. Bright Eyes sounds as emotional as ever (though, one can argue, he does on every song) in a live take of "Going for the Gold," and Tom Waits delivers the most classic Tom Waits he knows how to give.
Then, there are highlights that define "highlights." The Flaming Lips offer a stripped-down version of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" that makes such a quirky song actually sound tragic, OK Go unleash a first-rate Zombies cover that (surprisingly) improves on the original, They Might Be Giants cover "Tippecanoe And Tyler Too" and make it sound both fun and serious at the same time (it's quite the feat), Death Cab for Cutie give one of their most haunting songs since "Styrofoam Plates," the late Elliott Smith proves that, even postmortem, he's still as vital as ever, and former Soul Coughing frontman Mike Doughty delivers a solo highlight with "Move On," a fun, poignant, and catchy pop ditty that just might be the best guilty pleasure on the whole album.
Unlike most modern-day compilations, this set is designed for a fan of many forms of music - the more the merrier. You'll at least like SOMETHING on here, and, whatever your political stance may be, you'll probably have a good time with it too.