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JANUARY 14, 2009

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I Think We're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat

You may know Norman Cook by his DJ name, Fatboy Slim — but that’s not his only pseudonym: Cook’s genre-hopping new project, the Brighton Port Authority, applies his jittery, sliced-up beats to actual songs, and they’re just the thing to brighten up these short winter days.

Every track on the BPA’s debut, I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat, features a different vocalist. (We shortlisted David Byrne’s racy “Toe Jam” video last September.) Cook pushes each one way out of the comfort zone, with nifty results: U.K. folkie Olly Hite croons a yacht-rock cover of Nick Lowe’s “So It Goes.” Iggy Pop delivers the funky-robot version of the Monochrome Set obscurity “He’s Frank.” And our favorite track — an original called “Spade” — features Martha Wainwright in the guise of a surprisingly wistful ’70s-style reggae singer.

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