London Times Review of Time
Warner Bros 9362-45920*
THERE are lots of smiles on the faces of the various members of Fleetwood Mac adorning the inside cover of Time. But what a bunch of sad old buffers this lot have turned into since their last album, Behind the Mask, was released five years ago.
Stevie Nicks has gone her own way, along with guitarist Rick Vito. Thus, the core line-up of Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and Christine McVie is now augmented by guitarist Billy Burnette (retained from Behind the Mask), Dave Mason (the original guitarist in Traffic) and singer Bekka Bramlett (daughter of Bonnie Bramlett of Delaney and Bonnie).
Everyone does a bit of writing and singing, except John McVie, who wisely sticks to playing his bass. But despite the all-hands-on-deck policy, the ship goes down faster than a Big Mac and chips. Christine McVie emerges with her dignity least sullied. There is a faintly seductive quality to her composition Hollywood (Some Other Kind of Town), and she does bring a cool poise to the uptempo Nights in Estoril, a song in the classic, easy-listening Fleetwood Mac mould of the 1970s.
But the others seem to be working to a join-the-dots soft-rock formula. Bramlett's and Burnette's most palatable offering is a gossamer-light acoustic confection called Dreamin' the Dream. But more typical is a string of songs with Mason at the helm, such as I Wonder Why and Blow by Blow, that are rife with the most stupendous musical and lyrical cliches.
The album closes, not a moment too soon, with These Strange Times, an embarrassing spoken-word epic written and narrated by Fleetwood. A soft-rock experience of such bland inconsequence that even quite limited exposure can induce severe torpor, Time should come with a health warning.
1995-10-14 Number of views: