Fleetwood Mac

Warner Bros./Reprise, 1982


REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith


After embarrassing himself with Tusk, Lindsey Buckingham pulled back the reins ever so slightly with Fleetwood Mac’s chart-topping follow-up, Mirage. In doing so, he was able to level the playing field between him, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie.

Fleetwood Mac was always a band who knew that things happened in threes, so it is hardly surprising to find three singles salvaging what is regarded by many as a hit-and-miss affair.

“Hold Me” finds all five members of Fleetwood Mac throwing their hat into the ring. It’s one of my all-time favorites from the band and is the best song to be found on Mirage. Another wonderful song that has become something of a radio staple is “Gypsy,” a Nickscomposition that is guaranteed to put the listener into a relaxed frame of mind every time. Then, to round out the triple threat, is the album’s first cut, “Love In Store,” a song that finds Christine singing over her ex-husband John’s throbbing bass line. Divorce hasn't sounded this good since, well,my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Rumours.

The non-singles here work well too, for the most part, compliments of Buckingham. On “Can’t Go Back,” Buckingham’s vocal soars over some great rhythmic percussion by Mick Fleetwood. You’ll also be enchanted by “Eyes Of The World,” a lesser-known track that was recently punched up and chosen to open their Say You Will live show. But even better than those tunes is the highly experimental “Empire State,” where Lindsey channels Peter Gabriel to come up with something that’s really interesting and somewhat creepy.

What doesn’t work on Mirage? When Nicks goes country on “That’s Alright,” something that is not only an awkward fit for her but is made even worse by the fact that there are frogs croaking in the background. Or Lindsey’s most painful moment on “Book Of Love,” a clunky, plodding number that sounds like a Tusk outtake. Even Christine McVie manages to misfire with the yawn fest that is “Only Over You.” Remember, I said they were all on an equal playing field here.

Yet the glue holding this disc together is the above-average filler, holding the disparate elements together. Lindsey’s got “Oh Diane,” which didn’t quite succeed as a single but is breezy enough to be a pleasant listen, at the very least. Stevie falls back on her reliable Bella Donna persona with the gauzy “Straight Back,” while Christine reverts to familiar “Songbird” territory for the piano-based lullaby “Wish You Were Here.”

What Mirage should be known for, more than anything else, it is this: Sometimes it is better to play it safe than be sorry.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2007 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Bros./Reprise, and is used for informational purposes only.