Picks and Pans Review: Hanky Panky

updated 03/06/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/06/1995 AT 01:00 AM EST

The The

The idea of this moody alternative rock band doing a whole album of Hank Williams Sr. covers sounds as bizarre as a Pearl Jam tribute to the genius of Mitch Miller. But the The pulls it off, and Hanky Panky is much more than just a novelty album. Founder and lead singer Matt Johnson focuses on Williams's lesser-known material, including "My Heart Would Know" and "I Saw the Light," backing it all up with the band's usual eclectic mix of dark, thumping rock and haunting melodies. Like Williams, Johnson has always specialized in plaintive songs examining love's hurtful side. Though the two may have little in common musically, they connect emotionally in every song, making Hanky Panky a compelling experiment. (Sony 550 Music)

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