When we first heard about popular music’s most unlikely collaboration album, it is true that we fell off our chair. But that was months ago. It is actually happening, and is out tomorrow. What we can say is that, after 40 plus years in the business, 4 out of 5 members of the Rumo(u)rs-era Fleetwood Mac have successfully recreated themselves yet again.
The only person not involved, Stevie Nicks, has jabbed a few elbows out in recent interviews. Quotes such as “what’s their, like, narrative?” puzzled us. She has vowed never to do another Mac studio album as there’s “no point spending a year on music that nobody will listen to.”
Well, if you think like that… Whether anyone listens to this or not, it is not a Fleetwood Mac album. Which is what we had assumed they were giving us. Some people even said as much: The Mac Without Nicks was basically what we expected. Nor is this just a Lindsey album plus Christine McVie. No sir.
We were nonplussed by the first single, called, In My World. It seemed a tame offering, and basically a Lindsey song. The rest of the album is far, far, better, and somewhat new in sound. Even though John and Mick can be clearly heard in the background, this is completely new. Strangely, In My World is the track Rolling Stone prefers. We disagree.
The only non-Mac personnel are Mitchell Froom on keys, and long-time Buckingham producer/collaborator Mark Needham. It is a Mac album in staff if not in sound. And true, Sleeping Around The Corner has been seen before on a prior Buckingham album. But everything still feels new and sharp.
It has been pushed as a duet album, and that is accurate. But this is not the model of Fleetwood Mac, which basically has each songwriter singing their own songs with the rest on backing. These are proper duets, in the main. Red Sun and Feel About You stood out particularly to us as being quite poppy and fresh. The album is unlikely to shift huge numbers, but it is very enjoyable, and essential listening for true fans. The supporting US tour will likely do very well, even if we are not likely to see this material live in the UK any time soon.
This article first appeared in The Z Review in 2017.