Hits the Hits! – Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra

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Just admit it: you like pop music. Really, it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And yes, perhaps what Shawn Lee has done on this album is a dirty trick. Keeping your distance from the likes of Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake suited you just fine, but Mr. Lee sneaks up with his arsenal of instruments and clever arrangements.

All of a sudden, a sitar-saturated take on Britney’s “Toxic” is rather appealing. Another listen to Justin’s “Rock Your Body” as seen through the lens of the Ping Pong Orchestra (no production polish, just straight-ahead funk) and you find yourself thinking that it’s actually a decent tune.

Missy Elliott’s “Get Ur Freak On” takes a trip to the beach with a surf guitar catching waves while Outkast’s “Hey Ya” gets turned into a groovy jazz number. By the time the disc concludes with a sultry rendition of Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head,” you can no longer deny it to yourself. Pop music is not such a bad thing after all, especially when you have Shawn Lee around to interpret the melodies.