MusicTap.net (10/01/2004), Something Big
MusicTap.net, October 1, 2004
by Matt Rowe
We all knew Mick Fleetwood had it in him. His latest solo effort, his first on his created Tallman Records (how’d he acquire that name?), Something Big, has all the alarms going off. Why? Because it is hot. This is a return to the roots of beginning Fleetwood Mac and, even more so, a return to the heart of what gave rock its legs. It’s gritty blues-rock and it’s great stuff from a blues man who spent some time with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. This will give savvy listeners and aficionados an idea of what they’re in store for.
Something Big gets some help with revisits by longtime partner John McVie as well as some guitar work from past Fleetwood Mac member, Jeremy Spencer. In addition, Jackson Browne supplies guest vocals for a song that he wrote for his debut album, “Looking Into You.” But the core members of The Mick Fleetwood Band supply the real juice. Todd Smallwood, who is featured on this album, provides some great guitar work, so well, in fact, that it helps to bring restoration to my soul. I’ve long felt that guitar played like this is in the hands of 50-somethings, those who understand this hybrid connection of blues and rock. Smallwood’s playing put some faith back in this old heart.
Smallwood provides many of the tracks vocal work. However, he is highly complemented by the gorgeous vocals of Lauren Evans, whose Whitney Houston-like voice spreads over several styles, gospel, pop, and blues. You might even be lulled into thinking Whitney scored a guest spot on the album’s 4th track, “It’s Only Money.” Don’t be, Lauren is quite capable of challenging Houston if given the opportunity. I believe this.
The rest of the band is completed by accordion and Hammond player, Oleg Schramm and some drummer by the name of Mick Fleetwood who pounds skins for some band called Fleetwood Mac. Not bad, eh?
The album starts off with a winner of a song called “Bitter End” that is steeped in early 70s styled blues-rock and sets the tone and pace for the rest of the album. You know immediately why you got on for the ride and that you’ll be on ‘til the end of the line after hearing it. It’s followed by “Something Big”, a song that will bring middle 70s Dylan (Street Legal) to mind. There’s a fair amount of slide guitar ( a lost art if you ask me; Christopher Walken once said, on an SNL skit spoofing “Don’t Fear the Reaper” and its use of cowbell, “…I need more cowbell.” That’s how I feel about slide guitar.) on Something Big. It’s especially used well by Jeremy Spencer on the album’s 10th track, “No Borders.”
Something Big is big throughout its 12 tunes. And it’s not to be missed. Many older music fans will rejoice in its earthy feel while younger folks will get a genuine feel for what powered the engine of early rock.
Thanks to Johnny Stew for posting this to the Ledge.
2004-10-01 Number of views: