Hearing ukulele versions of The Replacements has something of the same effect that Sun Kil Moon’s album of Modest Mouse covers had: a strange, surreal disorientation that sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t.
In all seriousness, ukuleles are more oft associated with a bad island stereotype or the occasional 60s track complete with Pompadour hair and a cotton candy sweet singer who does a bad Gidget impression. In the case of Bright Little Field‘s latest release, Treatment Bound: A Ukulele Tribute to The Replacements, the little stringed instrument goes the way of folk and lends itself to an almost uncomfortable level of cheer not always found in Replacements tunes.
morphs into something like a schmear of cotton thread clouds
“Androgynous,” once an emotionally bittersweet, piano-driven song morphs into something like a schmear of cotton thread clouds that, though enjoyable to listen, has stripped the beauty from the original. On the flip side, “Can’t Hardly Wait,” feels extremely rural (a la Brother, Where Art Thou?) and yet maintains the original mood of the song.
Though not for everyone, Bright Little Field has taken some of the best songs by The Replacements, dolled them up for a folk-revived audience that probably gets their fix with the likes of Mumford & Sons, The Dough Rollers and Bon Iver and still manages to pull off a listenable cover record.
“Can’t Hardly Wait (Original)”
“Can’t Hardly Wait (Cover by Bright Little Field)”
Sal Christ is a writer with headphones glued to her ears. Getting some hang time upside down daily is of the utmost importance, as is sucking down a cup of sarcasm. For more music action, follow her on Twitter.