John Lennon: innovative and exciting? ‘Instant Karma’, a double CD of covers to benefit war-torn Darfur, actually suggests he was the writer of some of the most boring songs in the history of music. Perhaps it’s because Lennon is held in such reverence that bands interpret the former Beatle with such a lack of imagination and listlessness. U2 sound like Australian scaffold rockers Men At Work on a tepid ‘Instant Karma’, while REM’s Michael Stipe sounds like he’s phoning it in on one of Lennon’s most beautiful songs, ‘#9 Dream’. OK, it’s obviously for a good cause, but the ‘charity’ tag is used here to cover a multitude of musical sins. If you’re looking for new versions of Lennon songs, don’t bother, but if you want to help the charity (and you should) go to the Amnesty International website to find out more.