Album: Various Artists, Rave On Buddy Holly (Concord)

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The Independent Culture

If Elvis was rock'n'roll's id, then Buddy Holly was its ego, his more cerebral tinkerings with pop's structures opening up avenues that enabled the medium to flourish in myriad different ways.

This tribute compilation ranges far and wide accordingly, from Florence and the Machine's New Orleans brass-band arrangement of "Not Fade Away" to Patti Smith's folk-rock sprechstimme treatment of "Words of Love". Some, like My Morning Jacket's "True Love Ways", are too faithful to the originals, while others take too many liberties: Modest Mouse's deconstruction of "That'll Be the Day" into glum indie jettisons a decent tune, while Paul McCartney's grungified "It's So Easy" is just embarrassing. But Cee Lo's "Baby I Don't Care" and Graham Nash's bluesy "Raining in My Heart" get things just right.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Baby I Don't Care; Not Fade Away; Raining in My Heart; Words of Love