Best Coast's Bethany Cosentino Channels Stevie Nicks in 'Rhiannon' Cover (Audio)
For a new Fleetwood Mac tribute album, the San Diego-bred indie darling revives a classic in her own idiosyncratic style. Others featured on the collection include MGMT, Washed Out, Tame Impala and Marianne Faithfull.
What's the diference between Fleetwood Mac's original 1975 "Rhiannon" and the new cover by Best Coast, from the Aug. 14 release Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac? Best Coast's singer Bethany Cosentino loses the hooky guitar part and substitutes sad -- yet chirpy and childlike -- piano chords that strike of Harry Nilsson's "Good Old Desk," with minimalist Bobb Bruno drumming behind it -- and kind of follows the original melody, but bends it to her own indolent, stubborn will.
Trying seemingly half-heartedly to channel Stevie Nicks, the tune sounds casual, like Best Coast's current album The Only Place, which extols California in a voice that sounds like a stoned girl stranded somewhere far from the ocean, daydreaming of home, and musing about growing up after watching HBO's Girls (which helped inspire the album).
Cosentino's leisurely, SoCal-worshipping attitude is worlds away from Fleetwood Mac, who aspired to sonic perfection. A witness to the recording of Mac's big record tells THR that when somebody opened a shaken beer and foam splooshed onto the tape, people in the studio instantly whisked the tape off and rinsed it off with water, terrified of damage to the painstaking composition in progress. Listening to Cosentino's "Rhiannon," one suspects that she would have been content to just let the tape run, though she might have regretted the wasted beer.
In 1975, nobody would've tolerated Cosentino's insouciant, melancholy, sometimes flat notes, but you know what? They work just fine.
Kudos to Best Coast and producers Randall Poster and Gelya Robb, who could repeat the success of their 2011 cover-palooza Rave On Buddy Holly.
Just Tell Me That You Want Me Tracklist:
1). "Albatross" - Lee Ranaldo Band Featuring J Mascis (4:16)
2). "Landslide" - Antony (3:33)
3). "Before The Beginning" - Trixie Whitley (4:46)
4). "Oh Well" - Billy Gibbons & Co. (4:45)
5). "Rhiannon" - Best Coast (3:07)
6). "Think About Me" - The New Pornographers (2:56)
7). "Angel" - Marianne Faithfull (4:59)
8). "Silver Springs" - Lykke Li (4:11)
9). "Gold Dust Woman" - Karen Elson (5:43)
10). "Storms" - Matt Sweeney And Bonnie 'Prince' Billy (4:46)
11). "Straight Back" - Washed Out (3:44)
12). "That's All For Everyone" - Tame Impala (3:43)
13). "Sisters Of The Moon" - Craig Wedren with St. Vincent (3:45)
14. "Dreams" - The Kills (4:46)
15). "Gypsy" - Gardens & Villa (4:40)
16). "Tusk" - The Crystal Ark (5:30)
17). "Future Games" - MGMT (9:02)