The new Elvis Presley tribute album is a mixed bag.
First off, for the King of rock 'n' roll, a mere 15-song remake just doesn't do the man justice. Second, there were only a handful of artists on this album.Wouldn't you expect more?
Sure, the King started his career with rockabilly. But he transcended the style and mixed in rhythm & blues and jazz crooning (that's why it's a relief to find Tony Bennett covering "Love Me Tender").
Included in this compilation, which was also a TV special in December, are country greats Travis Tritt ("Lawdy Miss Clawdy"), Tanya Tucker ("Let Me Be Your Teddy Bear"), Dwight Yoakam ("Mystery Train") and the Mavericks ("Love Me ").
Other country music artists include Mary Stewart on "Don't Be Cruel (To a Heart That's True)" and Billy Ray Cyrus on "One Night."
Among the R&B offerings, the listener will find Michael Bolton (with a little help from guitar picker Carl Perkins) on "Jailhouse Rock" and Aaron Neville's reverent version of "Young and Beautiful."
Canadian Rocker Brian Adams rasps out "Hound Dog" while modern rocker Michael Hutchence (of INXS) and NRBQ take on "Baby Let's Play House." Also appearing, to represent the modern rock style, is Wet Wet Wet, taking on the album's title cut.
Melissa Etheridge's vibrato can be heard on "Burning Love" and Faith Hill does her rendition of "Trying to Get to You."
The Elvis tribute album came at the right time - Kiss, Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Carpenters, Black Sabbath and Tom Petty are among recent hallowed tributees - but it's incomplete.
Granted, the album features artists who happen to be popular at this moment, but what of the other bands and artists who owe the King, in a sense, their careers? Bon Jovi, Motley Crue, Greg Kihn, Brian Setzer, Dennis DeYoung, John Mellencamp, Bruce Springsteen and Aerosmith are among the missing in action. If this were to be a true Elvis tribute album, it would have to be a least a two-CD box set with liner notes.