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Featuring ukulele-based reggae and surf-pop renditions of heavy metal anthems, Lucky Uke is the self-titled debut album from the Montreal project fronted by musician Matt Laurent. The 2010 release includes unique interpretations of classic tracks from U.S. artists (Guns N’ Roses‘ “Sweet Child O Mine,” Van Halen‘s “Jump”), British acts (Def Leppard‘s “Love Bites,” Iron Maiden‘s “The Number of the Beast”), and European bands (Europe‘s “Final Countdown,” Scorpions‘ “Wind of Change”). ~ Jon O’Brien, Rovi

These guys from Quebec are different from the average cover band. Rather than just recreate each song note-for-note on their ukuleles, they inject their own creative ideas through clever arrangements, musical humor, and inventive interpretations. Check out their cover of “Nothing Else Matters,” which turns the gritty Metallica ballad into an upbeat quasi love song, or their take on Rush‘s “The Spirit of Radio,” a song that retains the hopeful mood of the original while adding the playfulness only the overlapping harmonies of three ukes can create. Lucky Uke clearly favors hard rock, with more than a few 80’s hair metal staples included in this album. But regardless of their choice of songs, the group makes each one their own and creates an intimate mood with breathy vocals and tasteful drumming. An excellent standout in what can be a tiring genre.

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