This double disc of sea shanties and pirate songs is as star-packed as its Rogue's Gallery predecessor (Shane MacGowan, Marianne Faithfull, Beth Orton, Broken Social Scene, Courtney Love, Dr John and a dozen others), but local interest alights on Mr Stormalong by Ivan Neville. It sounds like Randy Newman ... but with samples from a haka? Producer/facilitator Hal Willner - who has helmed many tributes and concept collections - hopes no one here is offended. It's more likely Iggy Pop's bawdy Asshole Rules the Navy will do that.
That said, this time there are fewer salty songs and it's a stronger collection: Tom Waits groans through Shenandoah (with Keith Richards), Macy Gray brings a Caribbean lilt and hoarseness to Off to Sea Once More; Shilpa Ray (with Nick Cave and Warren Ellis) delivers a persuasive Pirate Jenny; Patti Smith contributes a lovely original in The Mermaid; Ed Pastorini speak-sings Captain Beefheart's Orange Claw Hammer; Gavin Friday and Shannon McNally bring Irish penny whistle, accordion and cracked melancholy to Tom's Gone to Hilo . . . And unpredictable Todd Rundgren goes electro-dance on Going Down to Old Maui.
Diverse, different, sad and funny. A repeat-play keeper.
Verdict: Heave away, this second instalment has wind in its sails
- TimeOut / elsewhere.co.nz