Under the Covers, Vol. 3
In what’s become a tradition, ‘90s alt-pop star Matthew Sweet and Bangles lead singer Susanna Hoffs reunite for Volume 3 of their Under the Covers series, where they perform a varied set of cover songs. These sets are great fun for people who share their interest in melodic pop-rock from various decades; this time, they center on the late ‘70s and ‘80s. Among the smartest choices is Elvis Costello’s “Girls Talk,” which never loses its punch; throwing it to Hoffs adds just the right amount of sensitivity. She also comes close to Chrissie Hynde’s seductive vibe for The Pretenders’ “Kid.” Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” retains its majesty, with Sweet multitracking his voice and Hoffs coming in for the chorus. Sweet does battle with The Smiths’ “How Soon Is Now” and Echo & The Bunnymen’s “Killing Moon.” The deluxe version adds three solid choices: tracks by Prince and The Clash, plus Marshall Crenshaw’s “You’re My Favorite Waste of Time."