ZZ Top: A Tribute from Friends, the second major-label tribute to that lil’ ol’ band from Texas, differs from 2002’s Sharp Dressed Men by piling on the rock & roll. Those loud longhair bands were shunned in 2002 -- that compilation deliberately featured only modern country -- and they overwhelm this brief erratic set. ZZ Top’s songs may not leave much room for interpretation, yet all the artists here manage to sound like themselves while serving up straightforward covers. Filter strip “Gimme All Your Lovin'” down to its mechanical rhythm, super-slick supergroup the M.O.B. -- Steven Tyler singing with Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, and Jonny Lang -- play like the pampered millionaires they are, Andrew Stockdale shrieks “Cheap Sunglasses” as if he were saluting Jack White, Wyclef Jean taps into the new wave heart of “Rough Boy,” while Nickelback and DAUGHTRY battle for the title of Guitar Center’s loudest band. Amidst this clamor are a handful of gems -- Duff McKagan’s Loaded churn out “Got Me Under Pressure” like the old pros they are, Mastodon show some swing on “Just Got Paid,” Jamey Johnson rides the John Lee Hooker riff of “La Grange” for eight full minutes -- but it takes some considerable effort to dig them out.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine