Steve Goble

Choose life. (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Every Christmas I hide all of the presents that I've bought in the same place.

I won't tell you where - that would defeat the purpose. You'll just have to imagine it from the description in the next two paragraphs.

So, just before the Christmas just gone, I dutifully emptied said top secret hideaway of gifts to begin wrapping them up. However, then I thought I'd better double-check, just to make certain that I hadn't left some forgotten item behind. So, I once again thrust my arm back into the darkness, scrabbled around a bit, and found my hand alighting upon a suspiciously unfamiliar plastic bag.

Now without giving too much away, the bag itself was just too big to extract in one go, so instead I slid my out-of-sight fingers inside it, and found myself feeling… a CD?

Now this was odd. I had no recollection of buying anyone in my family any CDs for Christmas, other than the ones which I had already removed and accounted for, so what the heck could this thing be? Wrangling it from the bag, I retracted my hand and gasped...

It had a Sounds price tag on it, had come out of a Sounds carrier bag, and coincidentally enough was entitled:

"Sound Of Superman™ - 14 Incredible Originals and Powerful Covers Honoring the Legend of Superman™"

Well, I just stood there for about a minute, gawping at it. That's what we TV characters do while we're having those flashbacks that the rest of you get to watch in the third person.

As far as I was concerned, the first and last time that I had seen this CD had been when I had briefly examined it in the old Sounds branch in Botany in 2007, back when they had been doing their whole closing-down stock-clearance thing.

Now, on the basis of the evidence, I was forced to suppose that I must have bought this for best mate Herschel, brought it back home, and then forgotten all about it. For the whole of the next three years.

Oops, sorry Herschel.

There can't be many superheroes who have had an entire album recorded in their honour (or honor), so if any of them deserve it, then I guess Superman would have to be top of the list.

Not that the big names of rock exactly lined-up to play on here. I'd like to say that we instead have a diverse collection of different styles each paying their own tribute to the man of steel in their own unique way, but the fact is that the album maintains a steady grunge tone throughout. Two of the tracks even have the same fairly generic title of just Superman.

Not that any of that is really a criticism. This is one of those wallpapery albums whose consistency ensures that it can be happily left to run in the background while you're getting on with something else. (like wrapping)

One exception would be Meet Me At My Window by Jack's Mannequin, which allows the collection to breathe a bit with a breezy style somewhere between classical and easy listening. Also Royal's Braniac's Daughter, which is batty and poppy like it's also paying tribute to Superman's pal Paul McCartney.

This whole 2006 release looks like it really wants to be a more obvious tie-in to the Superman Returns film of the same year, complete with foreword by that movie's director Bryan Singer, and final track by the sister of its star Brandon Routh. However for me I'm afraid that, overall, the love didn't really come through.

"Superman on an aeroplane,
Sitting next to Lois Lane,
You got that woman but you want her gone,
So you can sleep with a teenage blonde"

Like the movie, a bit bleak.

At time of writing, Herschel hasn't yet told me what he thinks of his 2010 Christmas gift, which I told him I'd gone out and bought specially. Well, maybe I should have removed the bag.

I might have got something for it on trademe.

Track listing:

1. Superman - The Academy Is...
2. It's So Easy - Plain White T's
3. (Wish I Could Fly Like) Superman - The Sun
4. The Worst Part... - Motion City Soundtrack
5. Sunshine Superman - The Films
6. Save Me - Maxeen
7. My Hero - Paramore
8. The Rescue - American Hi-Fi
9. Saved - The Spill Canvas
10. Meet Me At My Window - Jack's Mannequin
11. Waitin' For A Superman - Nightmare of You
12. Superman - The Receiving End Of Sirens
13. Brainiac's Daughter - Royal
14. You're Never Gone - Sara Routh

Available to sample and buy here.

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