It's hard to argue that John Hiatt's songs need great vocalists to bring out the best in them. This compilation of cover versions doesn't especially bring out nuances that Hiatt missed in his own recordings. What it does show more clearly than Hiatt's renditions is the remarkable range of his skill as a songwriter.
There's the Southern R & B flavor that emerges in the Neville Bros.' version of "Washable Ink" and Johnny Adams' dripping-with-irony rendition of "She Said the Same Things to Me." There's the country heartache of Katy Moffatt's "We Ran" and Rodney Crowell's treatment of "She Loves the Jerk." Then there's the Spec tor-esque pop sheen of Marshall Crenshaw's "Someplace Where Love Can't Find Me," one of several songs here that Hiatt has not included on his own albums, and Nick Lowe's version of "Drive South" (a song also recorded by the Desert Rose Band). And there's the hard-rock drive of "Confidence Man," covered here by the Jeff Healey Band.