This Bird Has Flown: Tribute To Rubber Soul





Tribute records typically end up in my rubbish bin. Piecing together a tolerable album filled with covers is no easy task, especially when you take on one of the greatest bands of all time, the Beatles. I know what you might be thinking - do we really need yet another Beatles tribute album? On top of that, re-recording Rubber Soul in its entirety is an even more ambitious task. Beatles fans and indie kids alike can all relax knowing that This Bird Has Flown: A 40th Anniversary Tribute To The Beatles' Rubber Soul is actually worth owning. As with any compilation of this type, there are a few duds, but this one definitely has more hits than misses. The first to really catch my ear was Low's stripped down version of "Nowhere Man", which breaks down the song to its core melody and not much more. This is followed by Yonder Mountain String Band's hillbilly-fueled version of "Think For Yourself", giving new life to the traditional Beatles harmonies with banjos, acoustic guitars and what sounds like a washboard. Far from sounding as a novelty rendition, this backwoods country style works better than you'd think. Ben Harper's Rasta-flavored "Michelle" is another pleasant surprise, with plenty of saxophone and trombone to help give this gem a fresh coat of paint. The absolute highlight of this compilation is Sufjan Stevens' incredible version of "What Goes On". This alone makes the album worth owning. Pretty much scrapping everything except the lyrics, Stevens gives this song a whole new life with a brilliant arrangement that is completely his. It is impossible not to mention the unique treatment that The Fiery Furnaces gave "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)", jam-packed with organ and echo-treated vocals. Rather than just play the song a-la-karaoke-style like so many bands, Fiery Furnaces put a very unique spin on this classic tune. Other notables on this record include Ted Leo, Rhett Miller and Ben Kweller, all of which did justice to the originals. Even if only for the Sufjan Stevens cover, This Bird Has Flown is worth adding to your personal collection.

Various Artists
Razor & Tie

Posted:
This Bird Has Flown: Tribute To Rubber Soul