Fleetwood Mac gets the indie rock treatment
Published: Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 23:08
After 45 years of music-making and 17 studio albums, the possibilities offered for a Fleetwood Mac tribute are almost endless. The latest, “Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac,” produced by Randall Poster and Geyla Robb and released August 14, starts out strong with bone-chilling renditions and ends on a much more interpretative note with electronic-sounding explorations. The indie rock artists involved in this collaboration take their own liberties with each track, and the product is mostly beautiful.
Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth and J Mascis set the stage for the first half of the album with a drawn-out and heartfelt take on the instrumental “Albatross,” which begins with an ambience-like feel and slowly moves into the well-known tune. This is immediately followed with Antony Hegarty’s (Antony and the Johnsons) version of “Landslide.” Hegarty’s timid yet earnest tone evokes a deep feeling of vulnerability and intimacy that rings true for the entire album. Other highlights include a version of bluesy “Oh Well” stripped raw by Billy Gibbons and Co and an eerie-sounding “Silver Springs” by Lykke Li.
As the album progresses, it becomes more and more experimental. Gardens and Villa put together a version of “Gypsy” that is easily recognizable, yet completely different from Stevie Nicks’s original song. It begins with a woodwind instrument and continues into an electronic-sounding tune.
Consequently, the last two tracks, Crystal Ark’s “Tusk” and MGMT’s nine-minute “Future Games,” are the most experimental on the album, and it shows. “Tusk” sounds a bit jumbled at times, and it is hard to listen past the four-minute mark. During “Future Games,” on the other hand, MGMT uses some dissonant tones in places that do not sit well on the ears. Aside from those moments, the band pulls it off.
“Just Tell Me That You Want Me,” which takes its title from a line of “Tusk,” is full of artists taking risks with music that has stood the test of time, and this works wonders. The sheer number of singers on the album is incredible. Producer Poster, a lifelong lover of Fleetwood Mac, succeeds in telling a story through the arrangement of these songs. This is a must-listen for Fleetwood Mac fans and fans of indie rock bands alike.
“Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac” receives 4 out of 5 stars.