Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
Buy On
  1. Jun 29, 2011
    In another regard, Rave On Buddy Holly is quite different. Encouraged by producer Randall Poster, the 19 artists involved do not settle for mere replications of Buddy's hits, they play fast and loose, sometimes radically reinterpreting the original.
  2. Jun 30, 2011
    While Rave on Buddy Holly is no substitute for the real McCoy, it is a serviceable collection of songs that serve as a sad and profound reminder of the loss that popular music as a whole suffered on the Day the Music Died.
  3. Jul 12, 2011
    It just feels like empty tribute, lip service for someone who really does deserve something more: the dignity of being left alone.
  4. Uncut
    Jul 28, 2011
    The 19 tracks revisited here constitute a mixed bag, ranging from imaginative reinventions to faithful recreations. [Aug 2011, p.100]
  5. Q Magazine
    Aug 22, 2011
    It's The Black Keys, Florence Welch and Julian Casablancas who walk the line between homage and reinvention most deftly. [Sep 2011, p.114]
  6. Mojo
    Dec 12, 2011
    Perhaps not as many musical genres are represented as might have been but it's still a good reminder of just how many styles Holly's music crossed and influenced, if not invented. [Aug. 2011, p. 99]
  7. Jun 28, 2011
    There are 17 other tracks on Rave On, at least half a dozen too many.
  8. Under The Radar
    Aug 5, 2011
    Aside from a few misses and the presence of Kid Rock, Rave On is the real deal. [Jul 2011, p.88]
  9. 70
    A few of the songs stick too closely to the originals, going to show that it's best to do something daft and unexpected rather than just trace the lines of greatness. You can't improve on perfection, but you can certainly play around with it.
  10. Jun 28, 2011
    Rock'n'roll pioneer Buddy Holly was no stodgy purist, an idea the best of this all-star tribute adopts gracefully.
  11. 80
    All the musicians on Rave On Buddy Holly run such a gamut that it's hard to dispute Buddy Holly's continuously far-reaching influence in music. At the same time, if these songs weren't on a covers album, it would be easy to mistake them for a Lou Reed original or an old Modest Mouse track.
  12. 91
    Tribute albums are usually mawkish, well-meaning bores. Not Rave On Buddy Holly: Nineteen acts interpret proto-rocker Holly's canon with vigorous invention.
  13. Jun 28, 2011
    It's tough to find fault with such an inspired collection, but some moments aren't quite as standout as others.
  14. Jul 6, 2011
    Rave On Buddy Holly takes classic tracks and, for the most part, offers instantly memorable covers of them. It's not quite an A, but it's as close as anything I've reviewed in a while.
  15. Jun 30, 2011
    The album is a fun novelty, but as with most tributes, there's not much to keep it in rotation.
  16. Jun 28, 2011
    Holly's music might be simple, but it's not simplistic, and it should be handled with far more poise than what is managed here.
  17. Jul 5, 2011
    Forget about considering the album as a whole and figure out which of the 19 translators here appeal to you. The originals will always be there waiting.
  18. Jun 30, 2011
    Whatever the treatment of his songs, Holly's knack of pairing of simplistic, catchy melodies with understated--almost flippant--melancholy always shines through. As such, over 50 years since his death, this is a wonderful testament to his songwriting prowess, longevity and legacy.
  19. 80
    This tribute compilation ranges far and wide accordingly.
  20. Aug 3, 2011
    You have an album that on balance is worth the effort it took to produce. But it's a precarious balance.
  21. 70
    Still, assuming the point of any tribute album is to show the full breadth of the artist's influence, Rave On is a breezy success.
  22. Jul 15, 2011
    The performances range wildly in ambition, from straight-forward readings (Justin Townes Earle's "Maybe Baby") to spooky reinventions (Julian Casablancas' electro-shock "Rave On").
  23. The way his heedless old songs liberate cautious young professionals lays to rest any doubts as to whether he belongs in the same pantheon as George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. He just bequeathed us a smaller book.

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