Full album covers are rarely worthwhile and hardly necessary, and with the odd exception of the punk/Brit reimagining (see: Pussy Galore does Exile On Main Street) one wonders why the practice hasn’t been dispensed with entirely. With the increasingly hokey presence of Jameson’s “Best Fests” pervading the territory of classics reworked, the so-called tributes are inspiring more ire than they are actually celebrating the songs.
Enter Temporary Hero – friends call him Jonah Bell – Maine-based electro-pop entrepreneur who put himself to task with the heady undertaking of covering 10 tracks from the Fleetwood Mac classic Tusk. Though certainly not the first artist to take on the 1979 double-LP, Temporary Hero may very well be the first to extricate the best half of the record with the pedigree of mega-fan obsessiveness.
Following the relative success of his Chet Baker cover album, Bell’s decision to cover his all-time favorite album a personal victory that proves the understated timelessness of some of Fleetwood Mac’s lesser-known cuts. The obvious inclusion of “Sara” is a superfluously digital reimagining of Stevie Nick’s heyday on the AM dial, while “That’s All For Everyone” is nearly an entirely new tune rife for outdoor play at The Grove. Every track contains the indiscernible quality of electronic primer that makes The 1975 digestible to so many, but ultimately corralling itself back to source material that one can sleep at night knowing they made a good decision that day. (Making a 1975 reference was painful, and we need to collectively do something about their strange infamy.)
Considering Tusk is originally a campy sequel to Rumours, Temporary Hero provides the necessary glam to bring the songs into modernity. The covers are the product of a strict Fleetwood devotee, but for a neophyte to the band, it’s not a bad introduction.