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Dallas Morning News (04/2003), Fleetwood Mac Say You Will < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Dallas Morning News (04/2003), Fleetwood Mac Say You Will

Dallas Morning News, April ? 2003

Fleetwood Mac Say You Will

A Long Album for a Long Career: Fleetwood Mac Packs 18 Songs in Return to 70's Sound
by Teresa Gubbins

It's another chapter in what has become a never-ending saga: the career of Fleetwood Mac. Say You Will is a pretty good new studio album that includes the participation of four of the five "golden" members -- that is, those responsible for the group's most successful release, 1977's Rumours: Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, of course, but also Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks. (Christine McVie quit for good in 1997).

With 18 songs, this is a long record -- probably too long. But that makes a statement: It says, we don't care about the usual parameters of length. There's a disregard for convention in the flow of material, as well. There's no stack of singles up front. Instead, the first half of the disc is pocked with abrupt endings and patches of blistering guitar -- almost experimental a la Tusk. The second half is more tune-oriented -- more Rumours, if you will. The entire disc, produced mostly by Mr. Buckingham, has a polished sound reminiscent of Tango in the Night.

It's as if the band is doing whatver it wants, as if it has nothing to prove, no agenda other than to make a record. To make "art." Say You Will feels unfettered, loose; it evokes the early days of FM radio, when stations would just play whatever.

A major part of that feeling comes from Mr. Buckingham's fiery guitar. It first surfaces on the second track, "Murrow Turning Over in His Grave." He takes the song over and basically goes nuts for more than a minute, shutting the song down. It's totally cool.

Mr. Buckingham and Ms. Nicks share writing duties; he wrote 10 songs, she wrote eight. For the most part, he sings his and she sings hers. Her voice is less flowing and "spiritual" than on her solo work; it's more of a rock vehicle. She has a resinous glow on "Illume (9-11)," a song with a kicked-back beat that verges on funky.

"Thrown Down" is classic Fleetwood Mac, with its lonely guitar and Ms. Nicks' throbbing voice. It's a little like "Dreams" (from Rumours) with a taste of "Stand Back" (from Ms. Nicks' 1983 solo disc, The Wild Heart).

"Bleed to Love Her" originally appeared on The Dance, one of the few new songs on that '97 reunion disc. Its lush harmonies give it a built-in nostalgia.

A lot of Say You Will summons the 70's, but it's the good parts of the 70's: the peaceful-easy feeling, the optimism, the innocence. And rather than seeming retro, it feels welcome.

B-

 


Date: 2003-04-15         Number of views: 1118

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