Duet albums are sometimes ill-conceived efforts randomly pairing vintage artists with younger artists and exuding a sense of late career coasting. Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Fogerty has certainly earned the right to coast, so it’s a pleasant surprise that this star-studded celebration of his venerable catalog of classic rock hits isn’t a perfunctory exercise in memory lane strolling.
Instead, Fogerty has perfectly chosen his cast of collaborators and doesn’t shy away from mixing up the arrangements. With help from a diverse coterie of peers, fans, and friends, “Wrote a Song for Everyone” offers fun and fresh takes on well-worn tunes.
Bob Seger adds a lion in winter weariness to “Who’ll Stop the Rain.” The odd couple of Miranda Lambert and Tom Morello add twang and fire to the title track. My Morning Jacket indulges its proclivity for eerie reverb on a haunting take of “Long as I Can See the Light.” Kid Rock and Foo Fighters help soup up the engines of “Born on the Bayou” and “Fortunate Son,” respectively. And Keith Urban — in one of the album’s best marriages of singer and song — hits the sweet spot on “Almost Saturday Night.”
The throughline is Fogerty himself, clearly enjoying having another go at it all with a little help from his friends. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Wrote a Song for Everyone”