Arts and Entertainment

If her record company’s blanket-bombing advertising campaign hasn’t put you off by now, you may want to know if Lissie’s second album can measure up to 2010’s brilliant and criminally underrated Catching a Tiger.

Sounds like Madness (or Fleetwood Mac . . .)

But it isn't. Sean Thomas on the case of the advertising pop pasticheur s

He went his own way to oblivion: Fleetwood Mac's former guitarist is found, a little the worse for wear, in a hostel for London's homeless

AS FLEETWOOD MAC rose through the 1970s to platinum- disc superstardom Danny Kirwan dropped out, heading for more than 10 years of heavy drinking and living rough.

ROCK / Riffs: Home on the range: Dance singer Saffron on Fleetwood Mac's 'Sara'

'I first discovered 'Sara' when my parents gave me a tape for a Christmas party. It's a sad ballad with a haunting melody, sung by Stevie Nicks, and after I heard it, I ended up spending all my pocket money on her records. Like Kate Bush, Nicks only did one solo tour, but I think the best delivery of this song is on the live concert video from those shows, which I played almost every day when I was at college. You can really see the anguish and the passion in her face. 'Sara' came out in the late Seventies, when I was 12 or 13, and you can tell it's from the folk / rock era. The song starts with a piano solo, down-tempo like a folk song, with the sort of arrangement - for lead guitar, two backing vocals, drums, and piano - which any session band could play. Nicks also sings it sometimes with just a piano, which is the test of a good song. I think it's written about a friend of hers but I don't really know exactly what it's about: differences between friendship and loving, perhaps. I like the line about 'The sea of love where every one of you would love to drown'. And I like the way, as a singer, she writes her own songs and never goes beyond her own vocal limitations. Stevie Nicks is no Aretha Franklin. But like Joni Mitchell, she has a particular quality to her voice, rather than an impressive range. 'Sara' is an unhappy sound but an uplifting one.'

RECORDS / The smug and the paranoid: Lindsey Buckingham - Out of the Cradle (Mercury 512 658-2); Glenn Frey - Strange Weather (MCA MCD10599)

WHEN the former creative mainsprings of mega-grossing West Coast harmony groups get round to releasing solo albums, the potential smugness quotient can reach toxic levels. At its worst, it's as if commercial success afforded a greater insight into world problems and higher consciousness than that of mere mortals. The situation is just about avoided here by Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), but is vaulted into feet-first by Frey (The Eagles).
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