Birmingham Post Review Say You Will CD
HEADLINE: CD REVIEWS: MAC BACK ON THE RIGHT TRACK
BYLINE: REVIEW BY ANDREW DAVIES
CD OF THE WEEK Fleetwood Mac - Say You Will (Reprise) A few years ago, Fleetwood Mac got together and performed a huge, one-off, televised concert.
It was with their most successful-ever line up - alongside the rhythm backbone of Mick Fleetwood on drums and John McVie on bass, there was John's ex, Christine McVie on keyboards and vocals, Stevie Nicks on vocals, tambourines and triangles, and Lindsey Buckingham on guitar.
It was the first time the band responsible for the seminal Rumours had played together since Buckingham walked out on the band in 1987 after releasing Tango in the Night. However, the reunion concert was enormously successful, and while the band admitted the magic was still there in buckets, they were pretty dismissive of the idea of making it a permanent gig again. After all, with all the drugs, adultery and breakups there was a whole lotta history there. They were just laying a few ghosts, it seemed.
So imagine our surprise when news filters through there's a new Mac album on the way, with Buckingham and Nicks supplying the songwriting and vocals.
Sadly, Christine McVie has retired to become an English country lady, so the band is slimmed down to a quartet again for Say You Will, but there doesn't seem to have been any trouble filling the running time - in fact, with 18 tracks, a few would say a bit of judicious pruning was in order.
It's a Buckingham/Nicks 50/50 split, songwriting-wise, and Nicks reliably comes up with a quiver-full of ballads and rockier numbers about breaking-down relationships, trauma and heartache, fate and the like, with her stock imagery of gardens, poison and the spirit world. She even involves new best friend Sheryl Crow on several songs, but the results are a little hit-and-miss.
However, in case we should miss McVie's big, assured, flowing pop scorchers, Nicks gives us the excellent title track, which moves and sways and is full of Californian mellowness - even though it trails off into a rather dubious children's playground chorus choir at the end.
But it's really Buckingham's show, and he's back at his best. Steal Your Heart Away, Bleed to Love Her, and Peacekeeper are just brimming with insight, pain, and some clever contemporary allusions, in lush, perfectly-tailored and produced packages.
And there's also a handful of more adhoc, experimental tracks that hark back to 1978's eclectic sprawler Tusk, like Murrow Turning Over in His Grave, Red Rover and Come, where Bucks gets to take out his axe and thrash it like a good'un. Hell, some of the tracks were even recorded in his garage, the sleeve notes tell us. It's a mite selfindulgent at times, but it makes you remember what a fantastic and versatile player he is. Worryingly, the last two tracks of the CD are Buckingham's Say Goodbye and Nicks's Goodbye Baby. Let's hope, after this return to form, they don't mean it. HHHH
To order this CD for pounds 13.99, including p&p, call our Order Line on 01634 832 789
2003-05-17 Number of views: