Various Artists - Son Of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs And Chanteys

Desert island discs adrift at sea

Hearing the first Rogues
Gallery six years ago was like
discovering a portal into a new
world, as the likes of Richard
Thompson, Bryan Ferry and
Nick Cave raised more pirate
ghosts than Jack Sparrow’s
Black Pearl. Whether fittingly
raucous or hauntingly
restrained, almost everything
within was a beguiling listen.
This follow-up once again digs
for treasure, but comes up
with as much fool’s gold as it
does dubloons.

Really, it just suffers from
sequel syndrome, as there’s
a fine single-disc collection
buried within some over-blown,
try-hard choices. It’s
no surprise that Tom Waits
and Keith Richards capture
spirits in a bottle on
Shenandoah, but The
Americans’ Sweet And Low
makes you wish Ryan Adams
might have contributed
something instead. Dr John,
however, strikes gold with In
Lure Of The Tropics; no
stranger to spooky shit, he
manages to sound like a
disembodied skull’s just rolled
on over to cut you a deal.

Delving into Zappa’s back
catalogue for Handsome
Cabin Boy breaks the mood
completely, though, while
Katey Red, Big Freedia and
Akron/Family put a hip-hop
spin on the chantey’s call-and-
response for Sally Racket
(Sissy Bounce), but the
results fail to live up to the
astuteness of the idea. Of
the more leftfield pairings,
Iggy Pop and A Hawk And
A Hacksaw’s Asshole Rules
The Navy is a witty highlight,
while Macy Gray’s reggae-tinged
on Off To The Sea Once
More provides some Caribbean
flavour.

3 stars 3 stars 3 stars

Anti- | tbc (2-CD)

Reviewed by Jason Draper
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