The folks behind last year’s entertaining but spotty Rave On Bully Holly compilation (Randall Poster and Gelya Robb) have again attracted a superstar line-up of artists to pay tribute to another pop-rock institution: Fleetwood Mac. Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac has a slightly stronger sense of cohesion and higher hit rate than Rave On, likely thanks to a more relevant roster of artists with an extensive supply of source material to draw from. Highlights include: Sonic Youth’s Lee Ranaldo and Dinosaur Jr.’s J Mascis’ buzzing electric guitars on the soaring instrumental ‘Albatross’; New Pornographers’ blissed-out and reverent take on ‘Think About Me’; Lykke Li’s stunning, lovely rendition of ‘Silver Springs’; and Washed Out’s dreamy, Balearic and slide-guitar-featuring ‘Straight Back’. The LP’s second half features less faithful and more radical interpretations: The Kills’ raw minimalism on ‘Dreams’ provides a fascinatingly stark contrast to the original, with Alison Mosshart making a very cool stand-in for Stevie Nicks; Tame Impala edge Tusk‘s feverish ‘That’s All For Everyone’ further into psychedelia; and MGMT’s nine-minute, head-scratching ‘Future Games’ is unrecognisable. Elsewhere, Craig Wedrey (of Shudder To Think) and St. Vincent’s deconstructed take on ‘Sisters of the Moon’ doesn’t really work; Best Coast’s awful cover of the untouchable ‘Rhiannon’ highlights the limitations of Bethany Cosentino’s vocals; and Antony Hegarty’s (of Antony and the Johnsons) ‘Landslide’ is appropriately sensitive but can’t help but pale in comparison to the original. The LP also features contributions from: Trixie Whitley (of Black Dub), Matt Sweeney and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy, Karen Elson, Billy Gibbons & co., Marianne Faithful, Gardens & Villa, and The Crystal Ark. On first listen, there’s plenty to like throughout Just Tell Me That You Want Me and it largely succeeds at being that rare tribute album which can please fans of both the original tracks and the younger artists paying tribute.
Just Tell Me That You Want Me is out August 14. Stream it below (via NPR).
Best Coast also covered Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Storms’ as a b-side recently – doing a significantly better job than their attempt at ‘Rhiannon’ – and you can watch them perform the track on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon below.