Son of Rogue's Gallery

24 February 2013 Music

Son of Rogue's Gallery


Various artists

This second instalment of the Johnny Depp-involved series features exactly the sort of musical characters you’d expect to find on a pirate-themed compilation (Shane MacGowan, Dr John, Tim Robbins), as well as a whole bunch you wouldn’t (Macy Gray, Marc Almond, Beth Orton). This diversity is what makes Son of Rogue’s Gallery – the sequel to 2006’s Rogue’s Gallery – such an interesting release. Whether it’s MacGowan’s barely comprehensible, rum-soaked slur on ‘Leaving of Liverpool’ or Courtney Love’s husky tones making a restrained Michael Stipe sound like a choirboy on their duet ‘Rio Grande’, the vocal displays are as eclectic as they come. Yet it has to be Iggy Pop’s outrageously pompous turn on ‘Asshole Rules the Navy’ that steals the show. That the songs and musicianship are of genuinely great quality renders any novelty value redundant, and the presence of big names like Keith Richards, Patti Smith and Tom Waits makes this an album to be taken seriously – albeit in a fun, piratey kind of way.

Paul McBride