.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/fleetwood-mac-1358985212.jpg Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Fleetwood Mac

Reprise
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 0 0
September 25, 1975

Not only is Fleetwood Mac no longer blues oriented, it isn't even really British: The two newest members, Lindsey Buckingham (guitar and vocals) and Stevie Nicks (vocals, acoustic guitar) are American, and all five members are now based in Los Angeles. The band began its spiritual journey to L.A. a half-dozen albums ago – on Future Games – when it was led by the often dazzling guitarist/singer Danny Kirwan. Kirwan is long gone but his inspiration lingers in the songs and singing of Christine McVie (who's also developed into an effective keyboard player) and in the electric guitar playing of Buckingham, who likes to interpose aching, Kirwanesque leads and textured, Byrds-like rhythm lines. Thanks to their efforts, Fleetwood Mac is easily the group's best and most consistent album since Bare Trees, the last to feature Kirwan.

The four songs written and sung by Christine McVie make it clearer than ever that she's one of the best female vocalists in pop, and a deft song crafts-woman as well. "Say You Love Me," "Over My Head," "Sugar Daddy" and "Warm Ways" transform conventional pop-song structures into durably attractive and believably genuine pieces – each sounds like an ideal radio song. McVie's singing – slightly husky, not beautiful but unaffected – is simply captivating; she does everything right.

But her contributions have been a strong point since she first appeared with the group on Kiln House; what makes this album a marked improvement over the last several are the efforts of Buckingham, who gives Fleetwood Mac a distinguished and fitting guitar and vocal presence, something the band has lacked since Kirwan's departure. Of the four tracks he dominates, "Monday Morning" has the most initial appeal, but the hard-edged guitar song, "World Turning" (a McVie/Buckingham collaboration) and the gorgeously somber "I'm So Afraid" stand out more and more as the album grows more familiar.

Nicks, on the other hand, has yet to integrate herself into the group style. Compared to McVie's, her singing seems callow and mannered, especially on "Landslide," where she sounds lost and out of place – although to be fair, this is more a problem of context than of absolute quality. Her "Rhiannon," colored by Buckingham's Kirwan-style guitar, works a little better and "Crystal," on which Buckingham joins her on lead vocal, suggests that she may yet find a comfortable slot in this band.

Thanks to the rapport that is evident between McVie and Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac adds up to an impressively smooth transitional album.

This is from the September 25th, 1975 issue of Rolling Stone.


prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Stillness Is the Move”

    Dirty Projectors | 2009

    A Wim Wenders film and a rapper inspired the Dirty Projectors duo David Longstreth and Amber Coffmanto write "sort of a love song." "We rented the movie Wings of Desire from Dave's brother's recommendation, and he had me go through it and just write down some things that I found interesting, and they made it into the song," Coffman said. As for the hip-hop connection, Longstreth explained, "The beat is based on T-Pain. We commissioned a radio mix of the song by the guy who mixes all of Timbaland's records, but the mix we made sounded way better, so we didn't use it."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com