Right now I'm listening to the man himself, "I'm Your Man", and I guiltily caught myself thinking that I actually prefer the REM version of "First We Take Manhattan" on "I'm Your Fan" to the artist's own rendition. I think for those of my generation (I'm 27), the heavy background vocals and synthesizers of LC's later work (ironic though it may be) is hard to digest, although we can manage to get past it through sheer love of his work. He is certainly a poet first and a producer second - though his acoustic work has a raw power that's hard to match. Also I find that LC tends to over-emote his own songs (for my taste anyway) - I prefer a delivery that is a bit lighter-handed and dispassionate, which most of the tracks on this cover album have. They let the power of the song (pun slightly intended) speak for itself, and give us kids the gift of these songs which many of us might never be able to palate otherwise.
I do think there are some snoozers on here, but none of the tracks really make me cringe (though I generally fast-forward past "Suzanne" as I find the approach a bit heavy and dull. It's hard to bring anything new to that one, it's been done so well by others. I love the cover of "Take This Longing", also "A Singer Must Die", and although others disagree, I adore REM's track. I can't even talk about John Cale's "Hallelujah". As a side note, I strongly urge people who like his track here to buy his "Fragments of a Rainy Season". His songwriting is absolutely compelling to me, though don't try it if you like to be handed obvious meanings on a plate. He accompanies himself on acoustic piano or guitar, creating a gorgeous and chilling atmospheric space, perfect for a rainy afternoon. But I digress.