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Fleetwood Mac - 'Say You Will'

(Tuesday May 13, 2003 4:31 PM )

Released on 05/05/2003, Yahoo Music Album Review 
Label: Warner Bros

There are lads playing pool in my local tonight who weren't alive when Fleetwood Mac made their last 'proper' album. There are professional footballers who've played and retired since Stevie Nicks wrote some of the songs on this album - thirty years ago. Life is strange my friends.

But the return of the Mac is being celebrated across the globe with a mammoth tour of the US and a UK convention in June - a bar in Colliers Wood on the 28th if you're interested. 'Say You Will''s eighteen tracks - oh yes! - started life as a Lindsey Buckingham solo album or a plot by Stevie and Mick Fleetwood to get the band recording again, depending on who you believe, and can be conveniently divided into two. We have Stevie's polite, after dinner, soft-rock yearnings 'a la the excellent 'Say You Will' and 'Thrown Down' and former hubby, Lindsey's frankly bonkers guitar playing and gruff vocals.

As the bloke from 'All Creatures Great And Small' says in that TV ad for life insurance for the over 50s, as he puts his liver spotted dabs all over a sleeveless vinyl copy of 'Rumours' - "it's all here". The silky vocal harmonies, which include a guest appearance from Christine McVie, the frankly odd singing of Stevie Nicks - 'Destiny Rules' sounds like Dot Cotton doing Madonna - Mick Fleetwood's deft ability to pick up the drum beat on a chorus and turn it into a radio-friendly hook...that guitar playing.

Buckingham - who this scribe once interviewed in a deal with the PR that got us a new office stereo - has this little trick where he can play an arpeggio or strum a chord so fast that it sounds like the CD player is skipping. He does it on 'Red Rover' and sings like Vic Reeves' club singer. He does it again on 'Say Goodbye' which otherwise has some beautiful, gallic, chord changes. It works on 'Bleed To Love Her' but there's a distinct flavour of PIL's 'Flowers Of Romance' about this one. A punk rock counterpoint to 'Murrow Turning Over In His Grave's' lift of the chorus of the Ram Jam Band's pop/rock classic, 'Black Betty' perhaps.

If you're a fan, there's enough of what you expect from the Mac here not to disappoint. Personally I'll stick to Peter Green's incarnation, if it's all the same to you.

By Andy Strickland