We're A Happy Family features 16 songs from artists as diverse as Red Hot Chili Peppers, Metallica, and Pete Yorn, all paying tribute to a band which may not have invented punk rock, but certainly helped make it matter. As tribute albums go, Family isn't bad in large part because The Ramones never really got its songwriting due, and covers tend to bring that light out from behind the bush. But it's hard to listen to Kiss' version of "Do You Remember Rock 'N' Roll Radio" without reflecting on the irony. Even more than disco–punk's traditional enemy–bands like Kiss created the problem that The Ramones came to solve. It's similarly hard to hear "I Wanna Be Sedated" performed by The Offspring (never more aptly named than in this context) without feeling sad: Many more kids have done the cretin-hop to The Offspring's third-generation Ramones-isms than turned out for Joey, Dee Dee, Johnny, Tommy, and Marky (or C.J. and Richie). At least half of Family's acts opt to pay tribute by trying to mimic their inspiration, and not all of them should. For all their wonderful qualities, neither U2 nor Garbage will ever be mistaken for rough-and-tumble club acts, and both sound silly trying. Not that the more daring interpretations always pay off. Marilyn Manson makes "The KKK Took My Baby Away" sound like a Marilyn Manson song (no improvement there), and replacing the cartoon menace of "Blitzkrieg Bop" with a less ironic variety, as album co-producer Rob Zombie does, only makes it sound like a fascist anthem. The gems all highlight the band's tender moments, even if they don't always treat them tenderly. Eddie Vedder (with Zeke) neatly rescues "I Believe In Miracles" from late-career obscurity, Tom Waits puts his own spin on the twisted love-song sequel "Return Of Jackie & Judy," and Green Day's version of "Outsider" connects the dots between The Ramones and The Kinks. In the end, the good and passable tracks outnumber the duds, but maybe the best Ramones tribute album wouldn't have any recognizable acts on it–just a bunch of bored, buzzing teens with a basement, a primitive tape recorder, a stash of Shangri-Las singles, and enough proficiency to bash their way through two-minute pop songs. Maybe it wouldn't even feature any Ramones songs, just the ideal of the Ramones. What could be better tribute than that?