Los Angeles Times (02/19/84), Fleetwood Mac's Earth Mother
Los Angeles Times
Sunday, February 19, 1984
Fleetwood Mac's Earth Mother
by Kristine McKenna
Fleetwood Mac is the Volkswagen of pop: a group whose easy-listening tunes achieve a rare degree of utilitarian perfection. Theirs are the songs you instinctively crank up on the car radio, songs you've sung along to a hundred times without ever giving a thought to the lyric you're wailing. Devoid of rough edges or unnecessary embellishments, their music is economical, yet 100% there.
Christine McVie is Fleetwood Mac's resident earth mother, a husky-voiced diva whose compositions often have the timeless quality of ancient folk songs. The wise older sister to Stevie Nicks' kooky flower child. McVie has a voice as pure and wholesome as a glass of milk, and like fellow Limey Linda Thompson, there's an earthy simplicity to her singing. Sexy but never salacious, her voice exudes a world-weary sense of experience, and yet even in the face of disintegrating romance, her thoughts on love remain girlishly hopeful.
Fleetwood Mac fans will be pleased to hear that McVie's second solo LP sounds exactly like a Fleetwood Mac album. In fact, "I'm the One" sounds more like a Lindsay Buckingham number than a McVie song (the tune was actually written by guitarist Todd Sharp, who co-wrote eight of the 10 songs here). The album's glossy production and smooth rhythms also hark back to the Big Mac: consequently, it will no doubt perform well in the charts. The album's first single, "Got a Hold on Me," is already edging toward the Top 10.
"Christine McVie" is a profoundly pretty record, but it's a bit conceptually empty as well. Its central theme of love and its many complications is not, shall we say, new, nor is it addressed with much imagination. but leading the public into brave new worlds of pop has never been what McVie and Fleetwood Mac are about. They are pop thoroughbreds, and as such are capable of infusing mundane, moon/June cliches with a mystical quality. McVie does just that here, and in keeping with Fleetwood Mac tradition, this LP may well yield a string of highly successful pop mantras.
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