Have Another Ball

Have Another Ball

For more than a decade, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have given the four-chord treatment to almost every pop music genre:  R&B (Prince, R. Kelly, Bill Withers), ‘60s pop (Del Shannon, Beatles, Dylan) classic rock hits (Zeppelin, Styx, Carpenters) and even country (Dixie Chicks, Willie Nelson, Hank Williams).  Their 1997 debut, Have a Ball, celebrated the soft-rock hits of yesteryear, with covers of mellow, treacly hits by Elton John, Loggins & Messina, and Billy Joel.  More than a decade later, Have Another Ball  continues that theme, gathering tracks originally recorded for the debut. (Think of it as a two-disc set with a decade of breathing space.) If you’ve been dying to hear Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Boxer” sounding as if a rabid Chihuahua is nipping at its heels, this is your chance. Or if you’ve lain awake at night, imagining what “You’ve Got a Friend” would sound like if it were deliriously upbeat and celebratory, instead of a moribund downer, well, here it is. This ain’t your mom’s “Country Roads” or “Rich Girl” — unless your mom is a hip chick who never liked the originals in the first place. The Gimme Gimmes are all about having a good time, and the goofy grin on your face is what they were aiming for all along.

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