Under the Covers: Let It Be Revisited

Originally posted on my personal blog September 26th, 2010.  I figured this release is relevant enough to repost here, especially since it’s a tribute album for the Beatles, and pretty soon, I’ll have a review up for the newest Nevermind tribute… that and I don’t feel I do enough compilations on this blog!

Artist: V/A

Title: Let It Be Revisited

Released: Oct 2010 (September)

Label: Mojo

Genre: Rock, blues, psyche, etc…

Mojo Mag. celebrates the Beatles with a tribute to their final album, Let It Be. An interesting line up of artists stepped up to take a swing at covering this timeless classic. I figured that the only way to do this would be to review each track.

Track 1– John Grant – “Two Of Us”

Softening this tune a bit, Grant slows it down and really makes this track sound personal. Lovely and dreamy. Thanks!

Track 2– Dennis Locorruere – “Dig a Pny”

This closely resembles the original and is just as wonderful. Sort of reminds me of hints of Janis jopolin.

Track 3 — Phosphorescent – “Across the Universe”

I’ve yet to hear a bad cover of this tune (though I am sure one must exist). Lush, dreamy and completely inspiring as intended.  It’s hard to mess this one up.

Track 4 — Beth Orton – “I Me Mine / Dig It”

I was expecting to hear Orton in her usual, sing-sweet-sing style (a la “Central Reservation”) but was very happily surprised to find her totally rocking out as if she were singing along to this track alone in the car. It just blew
me away. And I believe this is the first time I have heard anyone cover “Dig It”, so she wins tons of points in my book already. Plus, she added in the little vocal tid bits at the end of the track that once graced the original track “…and now we’d like to play “All the Angels Come”….

Track 5– The Amorphous Androgynous – “Let It Be”

I have a biased with this band. Originally, this was the ambient experiment from the guys in Future Sound of London, but after their hiatus from musical life, they ventured back with this project, diving more into neo-psyche rock, with Garry Cobain now naming himself “Gaz.” So I was curious about how this track would sound, and I was glad to see Gaz hadn’t tainted anything for the most part. The vocals were superb and things were going smoothly… until the end of the track. Garry had a predictable psyche-influenced freak out on the microphone where he takes samples from his OWN song (“The World is Full of Plankton”) and attempts to layer lyrics from “Across the Universe” on it and begs for guidance from the Goddess of Life. At which point I shout curses at the speakers and punch the skip button. Making psychedelic music is one thing, but shoving it down our throat is another.   It sounds way over the top and I’ve read many reviews that claim this has to be the worst version of “Let it Be” they have ever heard; one reviewer went so far as to say it was “unforgivable.”  That said, take it for what it is and make up your own minds about it.

Track 6– C.W. Stoneking – “Maggie Mae”

Done in a style that reminds me of old 78s, this tune really enthralls me. I just love it.

Track 7– The Besnard Lakes – “I’ve Got a Feeling”

Close to the original again, but still good. Soft, cool female vocals and choppy guitar make this track stand out.

Track 8– James Apollo – “One After 909”

Slower, softer and hinting at a cross between blues, rock and a dash of swing, this tune is rather enjoyable.

Track 9– Judy Collins – “Long and Winding Road”

This was my least favorite Beatles tune and this version doesn’t really make me like it any better. I guess the orchestral section makes me feel like I am stuck in some sappy 1974 love song where everyone has tacky hair and ugly colored pants. Isn’t this an older version of the tune anyway? Surely there was someone else out there who could have pulled the song into a new style?

Track 10– Peter molnari – “For You Blue”

I always liked the twangy slide guitar that brought the original to life and this version really makes me smile. Just perfect, despite being very close to the original.

Track 11– The Jim Jones Revue “Get Back”

Piano gives way to distorted guitar, distorted vocals and one very fast paced track. Really pulls me in by the nose and gets the energy going. A really good rendition.

Track 12– Wilco Johnson – “One After 909 (Bonus Track)

Two times the fun. A bit faster than the other version presented here. Not bad.

All in all, this is a fair representation of cover tunes, despite the mixed reactions to the cover of “Let it Be.”

4 out of 5 stars.

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About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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