CONSIDERING BABY BOOMERS insatiable hunger for nostalgia, its no wonder the comebacks keep coming. Smothered in hype, hoopla and moola, these ballyhooed spectacles seldom deliver on their promise of rekindled epiphanies, instead serving up shrink-wrapped sentimentality.
Fleetwood Mac is a surprising exception. The Dance recaptures the robust pop-rock and conflicted emotions of the bands most creative and lucrative lineup: Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Christine McVie and John McVie.
Midway through The Dance, Buckingham says, I think weve all grown, an assertion proved not only in the albums solid musicianship but also in the renewed commitment and palpable devotion that bind the once-estranged players.
The album was culled from two private concerts staged at Warner Bros. Burbank studios in May (and taped for an MTV special, Fleetwood Mac: The Dance). Even hardened cynics who fingered greed as the reunions catalyst were swept into the evenings enveloping emotional drama. Much of that mood is preserved in The Dance, which could serve either as Macs final chapter or a prologue to a new saga.
Ironically, it is Buckingham, formerly the bands invisible wizard, who radiates star power, singing with convincing passion and playing guitar with technical prowess and heartfelt joy. In addition to revitalizing Big Love and the dark and bluesy Im So Afraid, he contributes two striking new tunes, a plaintive Bleed To Love Her and the edgy, eccentric My Little Demon.
Christine McVie brings upbeat charm to Everywhere, You Make Lovin Fun, and her new original, Temporary One, a peppy, drum-shuffle love song that plays up her sunny but never sugary vocals.
Nicks new Sweet Girl is thin but touching, as is Silver Springs, the rarely heard B-side of Go Your Own Way. The vocally fit gypsy poetess shines in a bittersweet arrangement of Rhiannon and an absolutely heartbreaking acoustic rendition of Landslide.
The band falters initially on Go Your Own Way, but regains its footing in two celebratory closers, a primal Tusk and the cheerful Dont Stop. Both are backed by the 85-piece USC Trojan Marching Band, an addition that could have proved fatally schmaltzy on Dont Stop, the rah-rah anthem appropriated by Democrats in the 1992 presidential campaign. In Fleetwood Macs loving care, the songs class and naive optimism are fully restored.
The Penguin: A Fleetwood Mac Home Page