Sunday, June 26, 2011

First Listen: Rave On Buddy Holly

I've been looking forward to this, and I wasn't disappointed. Nineteen Buddy Holly songs, reinterpreted by musical minds of today and yesterday. Holly's music always sort of toed that line between fluffy fun and manic depression, and these renditions really bring that out. It opens with the Black Keys doing "Dearest," which sounds about like you'd expect it would, but continues with the re-emergence of Fiona Apple, who performs the sweet "Everyday" with Jon Brion. Paul McCartney shouts his way through "It's So Easy," and clearly has a great time in the process.

Some of these are surprising. Cee-Lo Green stays true to the rockabilly roots of "You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)," and his voice works very well in this style. My Morning Jacket turns in a heartbreaking take on "True Love Ways." Kid Rock (!) does a fine job with "Well All Right." And wait until you hear Modest Mouse chew up and spit out "That'll Be the Day."

Some of these versions don't work as well - Julian Casablancas treats "Rave On" like an outtake from his miserable solo album, and Lou Reed murders "Peggy Sue" - but most are heartfelt and lovingly-crafted tributes to a man who died too young, but definitely left his mark on the burgeoning young art form known as rock and roll.

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