Waddy Wachtel (7)
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Newsweek: Mirage Review, Fleetwood Mac < Fleetwood Mac < Main Page

Newsweek: Mirage Review, Fleetwood Mac

The nation's No. 1 album, Mirage, by Fleetwood Mac (Warner Bros.), is a showstopper, too, but in this case we feel like we're backstage, where we can see that the props are papier-mache. Much of the record follows the band's own well-known formula: start with an understated, rock-ribbed rhythm section; add a filigree of guitars, chiming with harmonics, plucking out muted chords; top it off with Christine McVie's honeyed sighs or Stevie Nicks's warbling, pseudo-mystical bleats.

Enter guitarist Lindsey Buckingham. He helped to produce the album; he sings 5 of the 12 songs, and he acts like the impish kid who was always blowing up his experiment in your high-school chemistry class. Whenever he sings, he's fooling around with someone else's style: on "Empire State" he's the Beach Boys; on "Oh Diane" he's Paul Anka; on the oddball "Eyes of the World" the backup vocals sound like the Swingle Singers while he's Eddie Cochran (or is it Rod Stewart?). His songs are rough jingles: the detritus of a 34-year-old's rock 'n' roll memories. By sprinkling suchjokey, atavistic pranks between the sumptuous ballads, Buckingham deflates the band's own mannerisms. By itself, "Only Over You," ; new song by Christine McVie, sounds like classic Fleetwood Mac -- pensive, pretty, wistful. Coming midway through this particular album, it also sounds contrived, artificially polished, a "mirage" -- all form and no content.

Date: 1982-08-30         Number of views: 1129

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