Album: Fleetwood Mac, **

Say You WIll, Reprise

Friday 25 April 2003 00:00
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Fleetwood Mac's latest reunion album started out a decade ago as another Lindsay Buckingham solo effort, for which Mick Fleetwood and John McVie were subsequently drafted in for a few weeks' work as rhythm section. A year later, they were still there, and realised they were actually working on the follow-up to 1987's Tango in the Night, and so they asked Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie whether they fancied getting involved. The latter demurred, but Nicks climbed back on board, letting the others work on some of her old demos while she was promoting her own solo album. With a few new numbers added, the result is Say You Will, an enervating 18-track monster whose impact could have been vastly improved by the judicious pruning of about a third of its tracks. The band's basic sound remains much the same, with that classic Mac AOR sheen tweaked with a few nu-country touches – as on the anthemic denunciation of materialism "What's the World Coming To". But diversity is the cornerstone of the album, and also its downfall. There's plenty of squealing, multi-layered rock guitar bombast, some baroque LA soft rock, a little earnest folk-rock, a touch of country blues, loads of soaring harmonies, and even a Stevie Nicks beat-poetry slam. But there's nothing that grabs you and demands attention.

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