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Chris Isaak

By Sarah Rodman
Globe Staff / October 18, 2011

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Considering the undisguised debt that Chris Isaak’s music owes to Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins, it’s no surprise that the swoon-inducing crooner has always dreamed of making a tribute album to Sun Records. Nor is it a shock that the finished product, “Beyond the Sun,’’ is a retro delight. From the excitable liner notes detailing his lifelong love affair with the legendary Memphis studio and label, to the reverential versions of everything from Cash’s “Ring of Fire’’ to Presley’s “Can’t Help Falling in Love,’’ recorded at said studio, the record brims with enthusiasm. (There are no reggae retrofits here, however. Isaak treats the songs like the sacred texts they are.) He includes one new original, the appropriately rowdy “Live It Up,’’ which fits snugly alongside its forebears, sounding like a synthesis of all of his heroes. If you like Isaak you’re probably already a fan of some of his idols, and nothing here outdoes the originals (and certainly even he knows nothing could). So even though “Beyond the Sun’’ isn’t strictly necessary, it’s great balls of fun. (Out today)

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