The Upshot: With tribute albums it always boils down to the tunes themselves, and in this case there are enough “A” quality tracks among the 14 to rate the project average.
BY FRED MILLS
To date there have been at least five Creedence Clearwater Revival tributes, including the inevitable Pickin’ On… bluegrass trib, which is part of a ghastly trend of assembling genre tributes (coming soon to a tribute near you: a klezmer take on Led Zeppelin) rather than simply rounding up 12-15 groups who claim to have a deep appreciation of the artist being memorialized and each one delivering its own unique take on same.
That five-tribs raw statistic by itself doesn’t constitute evidence of this particular band’s staying power., however, for It always boils down to the tunes themselves, and in the case of Quiero Creedence—“I want Creedence”—there are enough “A” quality tracks among the 14 to rate the project slightly above average. Intriguingly, the star power shines a bit more brightly here for the Mexican market than the American one, with Latin superstar Juan Gabriel’s (R.I.P.—Gabriel passed away just before this review was written) strings-laden “Have You Ever Seen the Rain (Gracias al Sol”), GRAMMY winners Diamante Eléctrico’s moodily cinematic “Up Around the Bend,” and erstwhile frontman for ‘80s hitmakers Heroes del Silencio Enrique Bunbury’s sinewy/salsafied “Corre por la Jungla” (Run Through the Jungle) all gaining an additional emotional oomph from being sung in Spanish.
Not to take anything away from Los Lobos (a rousing, twangy “Bootleg”), Los Lonely Boys (“Born On the Bayou,” done reverently), or Ozomatli (a ska-fueled “Bad Moon Rising”), three names well-known on both sides of the language barrier, and who tackle their selections in English. It’s hard to say what ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons was going for with “Green River,” a kind of Afro-Cuban-metal-dub take on the classic tune and featuring vocals in both Spanish (courtesy La Santa Cecilia’s Marisol Hernandez) and English.
The sonics, as you might imagine, vary from one track to the next, coming as they do from multiple sources. In general, though, they’re quite acceptable, so rating them squarely in the middle seems logical enough. In the final estimation, well… yes. Yes, we DO want Creedence. English, Spanish, Spanglish, you name it.
DOWNLOAD: “Born on the Bayou,” “Bootleg,” “Up Around the Bend,” “Corre por la Jungla”