Various Artists, "Rave On," (Fantasy)
Paul McCartney may be getting a little long in the tooth, but he steals the show from younger artists on "Rave On," a new Buddy Holly tribute record.
Using a distorted vocal effect that makes him sound like a mixture between Steven Tyler and Howlin' Wolf, McCartney and his band tear through "It's So Easy" with a fervor that singers half his age would have a hard time duplicating.
And then, out of left field, McCartney vamps up the ending, improvising a bizarre, snarling rant to the love interest targeted in the song. He wraps it all up with a growl, of course. And it works.
Others on the record may stick closer to the original classic Holly songs, but they all bring to them something new that makes the tunes live and breathe again more than 50 years after they were written.
Fiona Apple and Jon Brion turn in a charming "Everyday," while the female-led vocal from She & Him put "Oh Boy" in a whole new light.
Check This Track Out: "Not Fade Away" sounds both familiar and funky under a new and mesmerizing tuba-infused New Orleans-style arrangement cooked up by Florence + The Machine. It's further proof that great songs, like those penned by Holly, will indeed never fade away.