New York Newday (04/15/2003), A Powerhouse Band on a New Road
New York Newday, April 15, 2003
A Powerhouse Band on a New Road
The name of the band may still be Fleetwood Mac, but the key for some time has been the involvement of Buckingham-Nicks.
With guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham and singer Stevie Nicks on board with drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie, Fleetwood Mac is one of rock's most successful and influential bands. Without them, it becomes a struggle to explain what went wrong.
No such explanation is necessary for "Say You Will" (Reprise), the first album of new Fleetwood Mac material with Buckingham since 1987's "Tango in the Night" and the first with Nicks since 1990's disappointing "Behind the Mask." While it's not exactly a return to the halcyon days of "Rumours," it's certainly the band's most potent album since 1982's "Mirage," with a string of potential hits to remind people what made them a powerhouse, even without Christine McVie, who remains in retirement.
The title track is a glorious reminder of days gone by, with Nicks' slightly mysterious delivery of its irresistible insta-hook and Buckingham's sun- kissed guitarwork. "Thrown Down" has a classic Mac feel, like the second coming of "Rhiannon," with the Buckingham- Nicks harmonies sounding as comfortable as a down comforter. The leadoff single, "Peacekeeper," weaves together Buckingham's haunting lyrics (written long before the war in Iraq began) and that lush midtempo rock vibe that the band has owned since the 1970s. "What's the World Coming To?" is another charmer, a sunny, Southern California pop-rocker with Buckingham on lead vocals.
"Say You Will" is definitely a Buckingham-driven affair, with the guitarist-singer co-producing 11 of the album's 18 tracks, giving it a cohesive sound. Unfortunately, it seems like the Fleetwood Mac checks-and-balances system may not have been up and running, as some of the songs feature Buckingham running amok with unnecessarily ornate solos and excessive noodling. It works in the frenzied "Running Through the Garden," where the listener is bombarded with a swirl of Nicksian images and a growing musical intensity. In most songs, though, especially the patience-trying "Murrow" and "Red Rover," it doesn't.
Overall, "Say You Will" is a strong addition to the Fleetwood Mac catalog, sure to bring some new life and new fans to the upcoming tour. ("Say You Will," in stores today. Grade: B- )
Thanks to Carne Vaca for posting this to the Ledge.
2003-04-15 Number of views: