Buckingham/McVie: A Review & the Fleetwood Mac of Today

By Sanho Kim.

Just a few weeks ago, on June 9, 2017, the album Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie was released worldwide. As evident by its title, the record features Fleetwood Mac members Buckingham (guitar and vocals) and McVie (keyboards and vocals), and is structured as a duet album.

An interesting aspect of this new album is the absence of Stevie Nicks (vocals), whom most of the public would identify as a major force of the band. While it is indeed named as a separate duet project by the two- with contributions from the other two members, drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie- frankly, it’s hard to call it anything else but “the new Fleetwood Mac record.” Thus, one may wonder why the album sounds so familiar yet different from the band’s earlier works, including major classics such as “Tango in the Night” and “Rumours.”

While, in the past, her enchanting voice and major hits may have been a defining feature of the band, lately Stevie Nicks has been noncommittal about continuing the band. Members pointed out that Buckingham and McVie have taken the lead instead.

The album, therefore, feels both old and new— the easily recognizable songwriting styles of Buckingham and McVie will be more than familiar to longtime fans, but the change in dynamics, along with the refreshing conclusion to McVie’s career hiatus, provides a whiff of fresh air. Traditional and classic yet not boring, “Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie” is both an exciting listening experience and a treat for the ears.

The album starts off with “Sleeping Around the Corner,” a joyful Buckingham track that provides the exciting, tingling glow that will leave listeners with one of the most cherished feelings in music— the jaunty thrill of a successful first listen. Simple and almost childish- like the joyful hits from the band’s earlier albums- the tune contributes well in leaving the listener longing for more.

“Feel About You” follows, maintaining the good feelings of its predecessor.  Another love song by Christine McVie, it has adequately been compared to her “Everywhere” from the 1987 record, “Tango in the Night.” It carries the much-familiar vibrant, bubbly, and poppy romancing, in which McVie’s smooth, soothing voice does not show a hint of having been worn by the passage of time. Instead, the singer/songwriter successfully conveys fledgling love at its most charming stage.

The biggest hit, however, is the third song of the 10-track album— “In My World,” both written and sung by Buckingham. Released to the public on April 14, 2017, so far it has remained the only single from the album. At first, the song may sound confusing or even unnatural. As it proceeds to the chorus, however, most will be able to gradually recognize the gem closely guarded by the powerful production. “In My World” is played and sung like a sweaty game of tension and gush as Buckingham’s strong yet twitching voice carefully lays the heavy lyrics down until he goes on to passionately declare that, “In my world, everybody stays…”

The album received mostly positive reviews by critics while also achieving substantial success in the market. Most major music ratings sources, such as Metacritic, Rolling Stone, or AllMusic, have scored it as above average/50%. In the charts, it has reached #17 in the US Billboard 200, #5 in the UK, and #21 in the Australian ARIA. The duo also went on to promote the album by performing “In My World” on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Buckingham and McVie have also planned a short tour around a few US cities. In fact, they have already begun the tour, kicking it off at the Chastain Park Amphitheater at Atlanta, GA. While the tour itself will be quite brief, the musicians have an exciting schedule ahead of them— on some select dates, other bands, such as the Wallflowers (led by Jakob Dylan) and Journey (another classic fan favorite), will join them, and they also have a few Fleetwood Mac shows planned ahead at the Classic East and West festivals that will take place in late July.

With Stevie Nicks reluctant and many members in their seventies, Fleetwood Mac may have seemed to be a dying band. However, this new album sheds some light on the unconquered, still fresh areas of their creativity and confirms their relevance as a major player in the field. After the Buckingham/McVie tour, the classic band will kick off yet another tour in 2018— and while it has been called a “farewell tour,” Christine McVie’s comments that “you take farewell tours one at a time” are proof that Fleetwood Mac’s future is still full of possibilities.


 

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