Reviewed: R.E.M. Like 'Awesome Tribute Band'; Mogwai Keep Nineties Alive

Plus: Stream new music from Bright Eyes, Jessica Lea Mayfield, Cut Copy, James Blake, Panda Bear, Yuck and Nicki Minaj featuring Lil Wayne

February 8, 2011 10:50 AM ET
Reviewed: R.E.M. Like 'Awesome Tribute Band'; Mogwai Keep Nineties Alive

In this week's slate of Rolling Stone album reviews, Rob Sheffield declares that the Scottish indie band Mogwai are fighting harder than any of their Nineties peers to "keep the decade's anything-goes spirit alive" on their new record Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will. Jody Rosen is less enamored of the Eighties-obsessed Australian dance pop group Cut Copy's Zonoscope, which he says suffers somewhat from "slavish revivalism."

Jonah Weiner is lukewarm on Nicole Atkins' "thoroughly pleasant" new album of "brunch blues" tunes, while Rosen praises Jessica Lea Mayfield's "languid drawl" on her sophomore effort Tell Me.

On the singles front, Will Hermes digs Panda Bear's hypnotic "Atiba Song," and Rosen says that R.E.M. sound "like an awesome R.E.M. tribute band" on their new track "Mine Smell Like Honey."

Mogwai - Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will (stream full album)

Cut Copy - Zonoscope (stream full album)

Jessica Lea Mayfield - Tell Me (stream full album)

The Dears - Degeneration Street (stream full album)

Yuck - Yuck (stream one song)

James Blake - James Blake (stream one song)

Nicole Atkins - Mondo Amore (stream one song)

Bright Eyes - The People's Key (stream full album)

Amos Lee - Mission Bell (stream one song)

Panda Bear "Atiba Song" (stream)

Nicki Minaj feat. Lil Wayne "Roman's Revenge" (stream)

The Kills "Satellite" (stream)

R.E.M. "Mine Smell Like Honey" (stream)

LAST WEEK: Bright Eyes Plays to His Strengths on 'The People's Key'; George Michael's 'Faith' Holds Up as a Pop Classic

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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