Steve Lieberman – Last of the Jewish Pirates

Steve Lieberman – Last of the Jewish Pirates / 2007 Self / 24 Tracks / /

Steve Lieberman has been cutting albums, one per year or more, for quite a while now. “Last of the Jewish Pirates” is the one of the latest albums from Lieberman, and ey places eir own spin on the tracks that have been the most influential in the creation of Lieberman’s own sound. This means that there are tracks going back all the way to Johnny Cash’s “I Walk The Line”, moving through the Grateful Dead’s “Sugar Magnolia”, continuing through “Radio Free Europe” by R.E.M. and going as current as The Cure’s 1992 classic, “Friday I’m In Love”.

Furthermore, this compilation of covers is raising funds for charity (which charity it is is not listed on the disc, but kudos has to go out to Lieberman).  The songs that Lieberman picks are solid throughout – The Undertones’ “Teenage Kicks”, Ace Frehley’s “New York Groove” and “Fat Bottomed Girls” by Queen are all present. “Teenage Kicks” is a fairly straightforward cover of the original, even if the distortion detracts from the harmonies present in the lyrics. What is really a dagger through my heart is that one of my favorite songs – the aforementioned “New York Groove” – is transformed into something that is not even a pale imitation of the former. I understand that Lieberman is trying to create a sound that will resound through the entirety of the album, but I feel that sometimes, a little bit more of a bone needs to be thrown to the original creator of the song.

The first track that really seems to hit hard and impress is Lieberman’s cover of “Ace of Spades” – this cover is much more straightforward and focused than any of the prior tracks on the disc. This continues with Lieberman’s cover of Pink Floyd’s “Mother”- it is when Lieberman tightens up eir sound and mixes in the flute at a similar level to the rest of the track. The amount of music that is present on this album, as usual, makes this album something that will provide quite the “bang for your buck”, but there are a number of these covers that do not shine as brightly as the original tracks. Lieberman does create a cohesive sound for the tracks on this album, and the tracks they ey picks are a good snapshot for rock history, but there are some weak points during the disc.

Top Tracks: Sugar Magnolia, Sloop John B.

Rating: 5.0/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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