on August 14, 2012
Just let me begin by stating that I love Fleetwood Mac, and I love many of the bands on this compilation. With that said...
This tribute album is a missed opportunity. JUST TELL ME THAT YOU WANT ME is a 17-track record full of cover versions of (mostly) indie bands laying down their take on the iconic Fleetwood Mac. Most of the music here is reverently faithful to the master tracks; those hoping that Best Coast and the New Pornographers were going to bring their own indie sensibilities to Fleetwood Mac will be disappointed by these bands sticking so close to the original. Alternately, Fleetwood Mac fans eager to here some of their favorite songs transformed won't find much interesting here either.
Antony's cover of "Landslide" is a pretty solid disappointment; it is a fairly straight rendition of the song, but it only serves a missed opportunity. The Smashing Pumpkins' cover of the song during the 1990's and the original outshine the track here. The bluesy and distorted "Oh Well" seems to have been made for Billy Gibbons, and his cover is much less energetic, but just as punchy. Best Coast's "Rhiannon" is fine, but it's pretty limp and bland compared to Fleetwood Mac's original; at its worst it sounds like a karaoke version of the song. The New Pornographer's "Think About Me" adds a few synthesizer riffs to an otherwise faithful cover. Aside from a few country-guitar rips, Karen Elson's "Gold Dust Woman" is an already familiar trip.
There are a few artists who provide good treatments to these songs. Swedish singer/songwriter Lykke Li takes "Silver Springs" and gives it a reverb-drenched eerie feel. The song that was initially a B-Side to "Go Your Own Way" serves as one of the best tracks here. "Straight Back," as performed by Washed Out is given a great 80's new-wave gloss. Craig Werden and St. Vincent's duet of "Sisters of the Moon" reworks the song to meet their sensibilities with fantastic results. MGMT's "Future Games" is perhaps the strangest cover of all: in typical MGMT fashion, the band has used an "everything and the kitchen sink" approach to the song. It's a much more robotic take on the homegrown stylings of Fleetwood Mac, and it's at least worth taking a peek at.
The most disappointing thing about this collection is the lack of variety that these bands bring to the table. Most of these tracks are faithful covers that simply fail to reach their original counterparts' quality. I would have preferred to have these bands rework them completely than play it so safely. Because it doesn't really service Fleetwood Mac or the bands performing on this tribute album, it's hard to recommend JUST TELL ME THAT YOU WANT ME to anyone. I suppose that hardcore fans of Fleetwood Mac would find some enjoyment out of this collection, but not enough fresh life is breathed into these songs to really warrant a purchase.
Additional Release Information:
Digital versions of the album include "Hold Me" and "The Green Manalishi." These tracks aren't particularly strong enough to recommend the digital copy of this album over the material one, per se, but I suppose if you are a big fan of either of those songs, you'll want to opt for the MP3 version.
on August 15, 2012
I think this is a really good collection of stevie nicks/fleetwood mac covers.
These are indie lo-fi interpretations of mostly stevie nicks penned tracks.
Not sure why the producer felt compelled to leave out christine mcvie and lindsey buckingham from the track list?
big love, brown eyes, i know i'm not wrong, over my head, you'll never make me cry, not that funny, hold me.....
For those omissions i give it three stars but the artists and tracks on this records are good.
on September 25, 2012
I wanted to like this album, since I think Fleetwood Mac is one of the more underrated bands of the 60's-80's. But this album, while competent, is dull and flat and lifeless, and I'm sorry for that, since it makes it difficult to like. Several other reviewers have mentioned that very few of the cover artists take the music and run, apparently preferring to mimic the original album cuts. But it seems to me that while doing so they've extracted all the life force that animated those lovely albums from years ago. A possible exception is Billy Gibbons's dirge-like "Oh, Well," which perhaps keeps some of the original irony, although at the expense of the original puckishness. Plus, how can you have a tribute album without "Sands of Time" and "The Chain"?
on October 21, 2012
Albatross by Lee Ronaldo Band. 4:16 This is an instrumental song, featuring a bluesy guitar. A moody, slightly sad sound.
Landslide by Antony. 3:33 The familiar sounds of the beginning of the song give way to a man's voice singing this
lovely little song. Just can't get used to that difference! He doesn't change the song much at all, keeping to
Stevie's simple composition. It's kept to just the voice and an acoustic guitar.
Before the Beginning by Trixie Whitley. 4:46 Trixie's voice sounds like a slick, club singer's voice - not a
Fleetwood Mac kind of voice. You can maybe stretch to think she sounds slightly like Christine McVie at times.
Oh Well by Billy Gibbons. 4:45 Love the bass guitar opening we are all so familiar with. They slow it down even a
little bit more for an even bluesier sound. We are at 1:25 before we hear the voice... 'Can't help it bout the
shape I'm in....' 4-stars to this one! Excellent job.
Rhiannon by Best Coast. 3:07 Best Coast seems to want to turn this song into a popsy commercial cheesy sound. Think i-pad commercial.
Think About Me by The New Pornographers. 2:56 They really capture the soul of Fleetwood Mac with this track. The
drummer captures Mick Fleetwood's style and the guitars stay in the background. The singing is right on. 4 stars!
Angel by Marianne Faithfull. 4:59 The beginning of the original has a very distinctive beat and build up to that
beautiful voice of Stevie's. This version has neither a good buildup, nor is there a beautiful voice. A
Silver Springs by Lykke Li. 4:11 Lykke Li sings this song as if from inside a glass bottle. A strange, ethereal
sound. She has a nice voice, so it's pleasant, but the music does not evoke Fleetwood Mac's sound.
Gold Dust Woman by Karen Elson. 5:42 No one will ever nail this one like Stevie, but Karen comes very close here.
Nice job of keeping to what worked so well to begin with. The music is understated, and the singing is a beautiful rendition of Stevie's original Gold Dust Woman. 4 stars.
Storms by Matt Sweeney & Bonnie "Prince" Billy. 4:56 This is a sad, excruciating song. It's a slow heart break. And Matt Sweeney pulls it off.
Straight Back by Washed Out. 3:43 A little too dreamy and indistinguished. Hard to make out the lyrics.
That's All for Everyone by Tame Impala. 3:43 Lindsey's style is captured here in this tune. A little "Lucy in the
Sky" quality. Nicely done.
Sisters of the Moon by Craig Wedren. 3:45 A drum heavy version. Once again, hard to adjust to a male voice singing this song. It really needs a female influence, in my opinion.
Dreams by the Kills. 4:56 Instead of Stevie's fluid voice, you hear this almost stuttering quality which does not
do this song justice. A disappointment, in my opinion.
Gypsy by Gardens & Villa. 4:40 A pleasantly done version of this song. Once again - a male voice singing what we're used to hearing by a woman, but this time it's surprisingly fitting.
Tusk by The Crystal Ark. 5:30 A strange, electronic keyboard start to this song that really needs a heavy, intense beginning. Too understated, in my opinion. Doesn't make an impression. Just some clapping and electronica.
Future Games by MGMT. 9:02 Does a pretty good job of capturing Bob Welch's haunting (long) melody. However, the
distorted voices are distracting and silly.
on January 16, 2013
OK, the music is pretty decent. As some other reviewers have pointed out, there are hits and misses, but if you want to hear modern interpretations of songs you already know, this is a good place to come. A lot of them are very atmospheric, for lack of a better word.
However, if you MUST have, this, then buy it on iTunes or some other digital format. The packaging is HORRIBLE!!! For one thing, they're trying to be cute and package it in a format where it won't fit in the slot of a standard CD rack. Which is annoying, but minor - a lot of other artists are doing this, too. The bigger problem is there is nothing to protect the CD from being scratched against the cardboard cover. And the actual physical CD seems to be of inferior quality.
Good job, Package Design!!! Way to make your client's product unusable!!!
This seems more of a tribute to Stevie Nicks than it does to Fleetwood Mac. 10 of the 19 songs are hers and that's a huge missed opportunity for not just Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie (each are represented only twice), but of the Mac members who came before them. Granted, no record company is clamoring to do a tribute disk to the works of Danny Kirwin, but throwing more than four songs before the Buckingham-Nicks era seems silly.
Covering alt versions of Fleetwood Mac isn't a new concept - as Camper Van Beehtoven did it years ago with their entire cover of the 'Tusk' disk. ...and they did it better than most of the things on here. Even the tribute disk to 'Rumours' was a major fail - and that had much bigger named artists.
Still, 'Just Tell Me That You Want Me', is supposed to highlight that Fleetwood Mac was inspirational to artists of a much younger generation. However, most of them don't pull it off very well.
Songs that fare well, "That's All for Everyone" (Tame Impala), "Hold Me" (Haim), "Think About Me" (the New Pornographers) - though they don't stray too far from the original recordings. Marianne Faithfull's version of Nicks' "Angel" isn't bad at all...and Washed Out's "Straight Back" is pretty good. Though the original song was released in 1982, this has a newer wave of 1982 written all over this version, but it works.
The rest of the songs........not so much. They are bad party versions, uninspired or both.....and many of them ("Dreams", "Landslide", "Oh Well") have been done many times before - and better.
The risk would have been to do lesser known Mac songs, but then that would possibly limit their appeal to a bigger audience. The irony is, a record like this won't have huge audience potential anyways. They should have gone for the risk.
on August 19, 2012
When I first heard about this project and saw the list of artists & the song choices, hopes were high. Clearly, too high. The source material speaks for itself, and the groups all have cred. But, for the most part this just doesn't work. It's not in the "hot mess" column, it's just not very appealing. It plods along in most places, the songs being deconstructed, and unfortunately, not put back together with all pieces present in most cases. And it's just no fun to listen to. No joy, no spark, none of what made Fleetwood Mac so enduring and lasting. I didn't expect, nor what I want, note for note replays of the original songs. I was looking for some of the original creativity and presence to be integrated into the tribute. As I said, hopes were too high. Need an example? Listen to Best Coast (a really wonderful group) turn Rhiannon into musical porridge. Oh well, as the song says.
on October 16, 2012
Is this the best tribute ever? No. Are there covers on Just Tell Me That You Want Me that I would like to erase the recordings of? Yes. That happens with any tribute. Do I wish the songs covered were a slightly different selection? Yes. I suggest you download the whole shebang for the price and figure out which tracks you enjoy and skip over the ones you don't. If you can't handle one of your favorite bands of all time being interpreted by mostly indie rock bands then don't waste your time. I like a lot of the artists used so it's a win-win for me.
I personally love the Marianne Faithfull, Tame Impala, The Kills, The Entrance Band and Gardens & Villa covers. I have tricked my roommate into listening to Fleetwood Mac songs which is more than I could have hoped for.
on February 22, 2013
When I plunked down the $13 to get this at Starbucks I had no expectations. I was pleasantly surprised, though not overwhelmed. This disc of remakes is better than most of the Fleetwood Mac tribute stuff. Nothing here is really terrible - save for the monstrous destruction of "Dreams." The intense focus on Stevie's work - some resulting in interesting covers (Gypsy, Gold Dust Woman and Straight Back - is to be expected. But Tusk and Think about Me are surprisingly good. This isn't for everyone, but I like it and listen to selected tracks often. Purists may not agree, but I was prepared to bash this. Fairly good. Marianne Faithful is sadly covering the wrong Nicks track, tho. She would have excelled at Gold Dust Woman much better.
Being a Fleetwood Mac fan dating back to their Blues Rock era of the 1960's, I was somewhat suspect of this "tribute" album that was just released (Aug. 2012). These albums are hit and miss at best depending on the artist(s) being covered and those chosen to pay homage. One of the issues some have is the straight ahead versions with little or no change from the original. Hell, might as well listen to the original, right? Well yes and no. It depends on the listener. For me I prefer at least a different arrangement.
Having read some of the Amazon reviewer's comments I had decided to take a pass. A day or two later, I read several positive comments from music reviewers in various periodicals. So I decided to listen to the 17 samples available on Amazon's site. Buoyed by the pro reviewers and the brief samples, I ordered the CD. Now, you may not like certain songs or any of the songs but I have a hard time understanding that they are not unique covers.
There are several artists on the CD that I had not heard of; not the least of which was Trixie Whitley who is with a band called "Black Dub." She does a blues blistering take on a '69 FM song written by Peter Green (a founder and original front man) called "Before the Beginning." That's followed by another oldie written by Green called "Oh Well," taken from the Mac's '71 album "Black Magic Woman" performed by ZZ Top's Billy Gibbon's & company. One song that does sound pretty pure is the overplayed "Landslide" but it has the unique voice of Antony which adds a different dimension. The "Best Coast" duo bravely takes on the iconic "Rhiannon" giving it a "poppy" minimalist treatment. Lykke Li's version of another Stevie Nick's classic "Silver Springs," adds some interesting reverb to her voice which is distinctly different from Nick's and includes some haunting guitars.
I was also fond of "The Kills" (didn't know before) who do a great job with "Dreams." St. Vincent and Craig Wedren lay on part punk, part pop but an all rocking version of "Sisters of the Moon." Is the album perfect? Well I guess not. I would have like to have seen more of Lindsey Buckingham's material. He has only 2 songs here. One, "Tusk" is better left to marching bands. Perhaps a little less Stevie Nick's hits and more Buckingham-like guitar shredding and more Peter Green blues would have been appreciated by this listener. So is this a straight up cover of Fleetwood Mac material? Not to my ears.