Orange County Register (04/11/2003), Fleetwood Mac
Orange County Register, April 11, 2003
FLEETWOOD MAC: The new album features John McVie, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, but no Christine McVie.
By BEN WENER, MARTIN WISCKOL and CATLIN MOORE
The Orange County Register
Fleetwood Mac, "Say You Will" (Reprise, in stores Tuesday) - This is the supergroup's first studio collection to feature both Buckingham and Nicks since 1987's stumbling "Tango in the Night" and its first effort since a ballyhooed reunion six years ago, though Christine McVie has declined to participate. At 78 minutes, it's six longer than "Tusk," its '79 double-vinyl magnum opus - and it needn't be.
It's focused, sure, thanks to the lone wizard in this dysfunctional family, yet maybe that's the problem; what's instantly classic is trapped amid trifles that lack eccentricity and deliver hollow charm.
Essentially it's two albums in one - half a showcase for Lindsey's genius and guitar virtuosity, half a Stevie solo album, a better-than-average one, given Lindsey's production bolstering what is her most satisfying (even biting) set of songs in many years.
So evenly divided is this, in fact, that it bids adieu twice - first Buckingham ("Say Goodbye"), then Nicks ("Goodbye Baby"). Trouble is, neither artist offers enough excitement to last the full length. Save for "Peacekeeper," the well-intended first single that gets me singing Paul Simon's "Kodachrome" in the chorus, Stevie provides the potential hits - "Thrown Down" and the title track, especially. Lindsey offers more of what he's known for, haunting melodies and impressively frantic yet smooth six-string flash.
There's a stab at social relevance in the first half - sweet optimism like you'd expect from those who lent "Don't Stop" to Clinton/Gore, "Murrow" turning over in his grave, another 9-11 tribute. But the second half consists of meager romances and character studies - average Stevie, been- around-the-block Lindsey. None of it is bad; much of it seems superfluous.
And there's no reason to have created so much for a summer tour, when audiences won't stand to hear more than a third of it. Not at those prices anyway. (The band plays July 11-12 at Staples Center and July 16-17 at Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.) Grade: B- (Ben Wener/The Register).
Thanks to gypsysara for posting this to the Ledge.
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