Friday, May 10, 2013

Album Review | Fleetwood Mac, 'Extended Play'

by Jeffrey Lee Puckett
Courier-Journal

Fleetwood Mac chose to release “Extended Play,” the band’s first new recordings in a decade, with a minimum of fanfare, as if too much hype might raise too many expectations. Good move.

The four-song EP is a nice little Lindsey Buckingham record, without a single moment that screams Fleetwood Mac. Fleetwood Mac is certainly suggested, albeit gently, and that’s a pretty serious miscue after 10 years of silence.

Still, Buckingham records are always pretty solid, especially in small doses, and “Extended Play” has some fine moments. “Sad Angel” is the kind of adult pop that Buckingham does so well, with an insistent chorus that lifts off with a wistful rush and harmonies from Stevie Nicks that almost, but not quite, get us there.

“Without You” is an old Buckingham-Nicks track, pre-Fleetwood Mac, that sounds pretty enough but lacks the band’s famous drama. Even prettier is “It Takes Time,” a piano ballad that’s pure Buckingham (with a healthy dose of Eric Carmen’s sugary pathos).

The last song didn’t even register, and with a four-song record, that’s not good.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Finally, a review for all the haters to enjoy!
Get out tour lube and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

"The last song didn't even register"

Did the reviewer actually listen to the last song?

Anonymous said...

Funny, I think the last song is the best on the whole thing.

FredPOP said...

Sounds accurate.

Anonymous said...

The last paragraph didn't register. Did the writer submit this before he was finished?

I do agree though.
Love Miss Fantasy. Great chorus and opening guitar and lyrics.
But it doesn't have the interesting/new/sparkling quality of the first 3 tracks. My guess is that if these songs turn into a full album, Miss Fantasy won't be on it. Great B-side though. Sort of like Oh Diane. Good, but forgettable.

Anonymous said...

The last song is the best song. This guy doesn't like Fleetwood Mac or has some sorta anger toward them. He also has bad taste.

davidmikej said...

@ Anonymous ... Hopefully if this turns into a full album the band won't put ANY of these tracks on the record. I enjoy each track, but I've already purchased them. I don't need to see them on another release.

davidmikej said...

While the reviewer is certainly entitled to his opinions I disagree. "Miss Fantasy" is a great track, and reminiscent of songs from the Mirage album.

To expand on my previous comment ... I think it would be disastrous for the band to include these four tracks - or any future EP tracks that may come this year - on the next full-length album. Their goal with releasing a full-length record would be sales, and people will be less inclined to pay for music they've already purchased, especially since Extended Play is now also available at Amazon's digital store.

Anonymous said...

one or two EP tracks usually end up on the eventual full length.
with iTunes, they'll have the option of offering the "complete my album" feature - which gives a discount to those who have already purchased.

Anonymous said...

I hate reviews talking about Lindsey Buckingham solo catalog with authority when the reviewer obviously never listened to one of his solo albums, and certainly not his last 3.

They read somewhere that LB actually has a solo catalog and make up stuff about EP on top of that. EP is really not much at all like LB solo, and much much more like FM.

Anonymous said...

FM goal for releasing an album would NOT be sales. If sales are their goal they would rest on their laurels and never release anything anymore, because the money is so clearly in touring.

The goal of releasing a new album is to stay an artist.

Craig said...

Great review. Very disappointed in the EP and yes, it is another Buckingham record. Booooooo. Thumbs down.

PhilWack77 said...

"The last song is the best song. This guy doesn't like Fleetwood Mac or has some sorta anger toward them. He also has bad taste."

Ridiculous. I can't believe some of you people are so close minded. Can't a fan just not like something and still be a fan? I'm a fan, have been for 20 years, but I hate this EP and wish it was just a bad dream. For years I held up Say You Will as the worst product Fleetwood Mac have even produced, but not any more. Now it's EP. I find it boring, derivative, and just plain uninteresting. As a "fan" it means nothing to me.

"I hate reviews talking about Lindsey Buckingham solo catalog with authority when the reviewer obviously never listened to one of his solo albums, and certainly not his last 3."

To be fair, NO one has heard those last three. I think there are only 14 copies in existence.

"They read somewhere that LB actually has a solo catalog and make up stuff about EP on top of that. EP is really not much at all like LB solo, and much much more like FM."

More ridiculous talk. There's no indication here that the reviewer doesn't know LB's work well. What exactly did he "make up"? You might not think EP sounds like LB's solo records, but the reviewer does, as do I. Are we wrong where you're right? Get a clue.

"FM goal for releasing an album would NOT be sales. If sales are their goal they would rest on their laurels and never release anything anymore, because the money is so clearly in touring.

The goal of releasing a new album is to stay an artist."


FM's goal may not be sales specifically, but it's certainty MONEY. They have been that way for years. Touring to support nothing, releasing compilations and remastered records. That is "resting on laurels" no matter how you cut it. A 4 track EP with only one song from Stevie Nicks is definitely a creation of little effort. And look at the wonderful artwork of the set! Did they make it using PAINT?

To be sure that it's all about sales and money, all you have to do is return to the conversation that was detailed on this site a few weeks back, with a fan mentioning how he/she had overheard a conversation backstage involving either Mick and/or Lindsey, about Stevie only returning to the band because there was likelihood of better sales than on her own. She wasn't happy with the half million she sold of IYD as a solo artist.

The truth hurts, but that doesn't make it a lie.

Anonymous said...

^LMAO. So much bile and so much seriousness!

Relax. This is all just entertainment.

Anonymous said...

^No one is being entertained by Fleetwood Mac.

Anonymous said...

^ Why are you on this site if FM doesn't entertain you?

Seems you want some irritation in your free time... or just need to argue with people. Whatever rocks your boat.

Have a great weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

^Cause I heard you were coming by.

Anonymous said...

"The last song didn’t even register" ...

Seriously??? I'd have to emphatically disagree.
The last song, "Miss Fantasy," is one of the better songs on the EP ... not to mention the second most downloaded aside from "Sad Angel."

After listening to the full EP several times since purchasing it, I've been waking up nearly every morning with either of these two songs playing in my head... and that's certainly not forgettable in my opinion.

I think "Sad Angel" and "Miss Fantasy" fit right in with the current collection of radio-friendly Mac songs from such past albums as "Mirage" or "Tango In The Night," and I am really happy to have new music in my playlist! : )

Anonymous said...

Love all the different ways this EP affects fans of different ages.
The Tusk album sold me on this band, although I had deep love for the 2 that came before (at a very young age).
And as much as I loved the Keith Olson and Richard Dashut sound, Tusk was the turning point when I fell hard for Fleetwood Mac. It was also the first time I saw them live as a very young teenager.
I love the sound on the EP. It's warmer than Say You Will, tuneful like Mirage, and interestingly produced like Tango In The Night (without the bad 80's sound).
I had high hopes for Say You Will before it came out. To me it was like getting a brand new Buckingham Nicks album. But it was so filled with filler (like Running Through The Garden), that it fell short. I still loved it though.
These new tracks feel more like a band effort as opposed to the merging of two solo efforts.
I also think In Your Dreams and Seeds We Sow are the best solo albums for both Stevie and Lindsey and I have to wonder what a Fleetwood Mac album could have been like had the best 11 tracks from those albums been used.
The EP bodes well for this band -- I'm just grateful that they care enough about making new music to do this project.
Or I should say, I'm just glad Lindsey Buckingham cares enough to make another FM album. Without him, they would be just re-hashing an old formula.

davidmikej said...

@PhilWack77 ... seriously dude, why all the anger? This is a comment board and we're all entitled to our opinions. Yours are no more valid than anyone else's. Just because some of us don't agree with the review doesn't mean we disrespect the reviewer's opinions.

Anonymous said...

We fall to Earth together/The crowd calling out for more.

Those lines and that chorus could be something off of Rumours
(like I Don't Want To Know or Second Hand News); or Buckingham Nicks.
Sad Angel sounds EXACTLY like I was hoping Say You Will sounded.
It took ten years, but I feel like Fleetwood Mac finally found a way to be comfortable in their own skin without Christine McVie.
Two strong solo albums with strong tours to follow - and now this impossible re-birth of creativity and energy. It's a great time for a new Fleetwood Mac album.

Anonymous said...

i can promise you that nobody in Fleetwood Mac is going thru this long grueling tour for the money. They're doing it because they love to play.
They don't need the cash, that's for sure.
They are all road dogs. Just like Bob Dylan or Bonnie Raitt or James Taylor.
When playing in front of a crowd gets in your blood, it's hard to shake it -- even when you're in your 60's.
Sure they want big sales. But I believe they want big sales because they are used to crafting great songs and having people hear them.
If anything, we are witnessing an undying narcism - which happens with all great artists. When that goes away, the art usually does to.
Artists need their work to be seen/heard. Enjoy it while it's still worthwhile.
There are so few musicians from "their time" who are still capable of really great songwriting and musicianship.

There's a reason why Joni Mitchell hasn't released a decent record in a LONG time. She's done. Springsteen has made a valiant effort and continues to put out good work. But there are so few others.
Most of them stop, or they get picked up by bad managers who convince them to do nostalgia tours with cheesy corporate oldies radio stations underwriting the tours.

I LOVE that Fleetwood Mac has kept their integrity intact. It's really nice to not have to call them a guilty pleasure after all these years. They are still so ridiculously respected among several generations. What other band can you say that about?
The Beatles.

TwoTonTillyLovesToTango69 said...

@davidmikej:
Where is Phil telling anyone they can't have their own opinion? Seems to me like you are putting words in someone's mouth there, david.

@Anonymous:
"i can promise you that nobody in Fleetwood Mac is going thru this long grueling tour for the money. They're doing it because they love to play.
They don't need the cash, that's for sure."
If that was true they would be giving free concerts or, at the very least, charging the same low ticket prices the "road dogs" like Bob Dylan does. I saw three amazing Bob Dylan shows this year for what one FM show cost me. The Dylan shows were much better, IMO.

"Sure they want big sales. But I believe they want big sales because they are used to crafting great songs and having people hear them."
They want big sales because they want big dollars. It's also because some members of the band feel they are entitled to big sales just solely because of who they are and what kind of career they've had in the past. They don't understand that the past is the past and doesn't always turn out the way "Moi" wants it to.

"There are so few musicians from "their time" who are still capable of really great songwriting and musicianship."
You either don't listen to much music or don't pay much attention to artists such as the "road dogs" you formerly mentioned. The number of musicians from "their time" who are still capable of really great songwriting and "musicianship" is more than four people (the members of FM). Some artists choose to retire simply because they tire of the business of making music and everything concerned with it. They aren't done with writing or making music. They haven't given away their talents nor do they not love music anymore. They are tired of waking up in a different town every night. Tired of riding buses or planes. Tired of missing the lives of their loved ones, and, in a sense, losing their own lives for the business. For some of them, the sex, drugs and rock and roll does get old. That doesn't mean they don't love the music anymore.

"I LOVE that Fleetwood Mac has kept their integrity intact. It's really nice to not have to call them a guilty pleasure after all these years. They are still so ridiculously respected among several generations."
Pardon me while I pick myself up off the floor from laughing so hard. I know you didn't type and send that with a straight face. No one could say those three sentences without even a slight grin.

I've been a fan of the Stevie/Lindsey FM from the very beginning. I've been a solo fan of Stevie and Lindsey from the very beginning of thier respective solo careers. The ONLY time I have ever felt comfortable admitting I am a FM/SN/LB fan is when I am in the company of other FM/SN/LB fans because this has been a band that has always pretty much been nothing more than a guilty pleasure. I would be laughed at if I admitted I was a huge FM/SN fan. For a few days before the show I went to see on THIS tour I was so excited. Every single time I'd mention I was going to the concert someone would ask me why I wanted to pay so much to go see those "washed up has-beens". And I'm not just talking about younger people who don't give a rats ass about FM, but people who know the band well and know their musical history. Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks might be influential to some people in the music industry, but that doesn't mean they aren't still a joke to a lot of people. Do I like that? Not really but I don't obsess on it like some might.

"What other band can you say that about? The Beatles."
Again, I must say you either don't listen to much music or don't pay much attention to artists as a whole. There are more than two great bands in the history of music.

Anonymous said...

I highly doubt someone called Fleetwood Mac "washed up has-beens"! That is so far from what the band is. Plus, people are fairly respectful of one anothers musical tastes... because music is personal. It may not work for them. There's no shame in admitting you like Fleetwood Mac or any of the members.. You don't have to go with the flow bros. Be an individual. Like who you like and don't be shy or afraid to say you do. :)

Anonymous said...

I love this website, never have I responded to a post before. Mainly, I'm addressing the above post. I would like to preface this with 'we are all entitled to our own opinion'. The statement that shocked me...
"The ONLY time I have ever felt comfortable admitting I am a FM/SN/LB fan is when I am in the company of other FM/SN/LB fans because this has been a band that has always pretty much been nothing more than a guilty pleasure" . Really??? Again, I respect your opinion, but clearly given your post you are a fan. I couldn't give a rats ass what people think of my musical choices...however eclectic, different, or embarrassing. We like what we like. I LOVE Fleetwood Mac, I will tell anyone who asks. I have been lucky enough to see over 20 FM concerts with more to come. I've lost count of the Stevie concerts I've seen. Have every track SN or FM released been gems - certainly not. I think we will agree that everyone likes what they like for very personal reasons.
I am very happy to pay big dollars to see the "washed up has-beens".
When the day comes and they no longer tour or release new music, I will look back fondly on the music they have made that has provided me with so much enjoyment over the years.
As far as your last statement - and again, you seemed to take a crap on other people's posts heartily, so I think my opinion is fair game here..." Again, I must say you either don't listen to much music or don't pay much attention to artists as a whole. There are more than two great bands in the history of music".... Well la-di-da. Clearly that poster wasn't entitled to their opinion either.
I would pick apart your 'holier-than-thou' post a little longer, but I have to pack my bags. Got plans to go rock out to another Fleetwood Mac concert that I have dropped big dollars to see. Every penny well spent, and I have NEVER been ashamed of being a Fleetwood Mac fan.

Anonymous said...

"If that was true they would be giving free concerts or, at the very least, charging the same low ticket prices the "road dogs" like Bob Dylan does. I saw three amazing Bob Dylan shows this year for what one FM show cost me. The Dylan shows were much better, IMO."

Interesting statement. You know why Bob Dylan charges "only" $100 at the same venue where Fleetwood Mac charges $150? Because even at that price (which was not cheap, especially for the show he does), Dylan show manages to sell only about a third of the tickets when compared to the audience Fleetwood Mac packs.

I have seen both shows very recently - Dylan and Fleetwood Mac. You opinion that Dylan shows were better... well, you are entitled to it. It's a rare opinion. I fell asleep during Dylan's show. Thankfully he had a great opener, otherwise my money would be completely wasted.

Anonymous said...

You all crack me up.
Let me just say that here in LA (the small town of 13 millions people); young and old adore this band. And many of us are from NY (that other small town). We have high music self-esteem and wear our fandom proudly.

Anonymous said...

^I quite enjoy Fleetwood Mac, but they aren't the legends some of you would like to believe. Stevie THINKS she's a legend like Robert Plant but she's in the clouds. Did you all know she's referring to herself as "moi" in interviews these days? LOL

FM as a whole are sorta like the musical version of daytime soap. Entertaining, but not Shakespeare. A bit silly.

As usual though, the fans who can't deal with any negative comments read things how the want and respond without considering what was actually said. FLYING MONKEYS ATTACK!

Anonymous said...

have to ask one thing?

i keep seeing the Flying Monkeys reference and someone needs to splain it to me.
Am I missing something?
Is it a Wizard of Oz reference?
Clue me in - I don't watch mainstream TV or listen to commercial radio.
I'm stuck in a liberal bubble and only digest what NPR serves me.

Ruth said...

"Flying Monkeys" is a Wizard Of Oz reference, yes, but "Stevie's Flying Monkeys" is a term used to describe the way the "fans" attack anyone who speaks negatively about Fleetwood Mac and (mainly) Stevie Nicks.

There's an atmosphere in this fan community of silence and devotion and of never voicing any view other than complete love and support. Even when you don't enjoy or particularly care for something. Don't upset "La Nicks", "The Goddess", "Stephanie", or "Mama"...

If you have anything that's not 100% fawning adoration to say, you better just not bother. If you do you'll be attacked by the Flying Monkeys who'll tell you you're not a real fan, you're being unfair, or you're cruel and disrespectful to Stevie.

Basically, Stevie's "Flying Monkeys" want you to be quiet unless your opinion matches theirs. Many of the sites run by fans even delete posts and comments from users with differing views. I've see it happen personally.

So there, that's what the "Flying Monkeys" thing is all about.

Anonymous said...

Oh....
Thanks for enlightening.
I thought it was a wizard of oz thing, but that seemed so dated. Like really dated. Like as in my mom's time (who's in her mid 70's).

Anonymous said...

The La NIcks and Mama shit is really creepy.

I see Stevie around LA from time to time and she seems like a pretty regular person, all things considered.
The only thing that weirds me out is that she doesn't drive and supposedly doesn't use a computer. Other than that, she seems like she has a pretty "normal" rock star life. We see Mike Campbell and other Heartbreakers too - and none of them seem pretentious at all.

Anonymous said...

Flying Monkey weighing in - anyone who would think Stevie or FM are not legends doesn't have a clue! Stevie is just purely magical. Even if the only thing FM ever did was Rumours, they would be a legend. Concert after concert, they prove they are legends. And, yes the new EP is wonderful.

Anonymous said...

"doesn't have a clue"
"purely magical"
"they prove they are legends"
"wonderful"

You are a Flying Monkey, goodbye.

Anonymous said...

I want to weigh in and just comment on the Goddess worship of Stevie Nicks. Throughout history, their has always been a primal need to worship a female deity figure. Diana, Isis, Mary, etc. and Stevie in some ways has taken that persona to some followers---intentionally or unintentionally.
Stevie plays the unattainable, never changing, mysterious modern goddess to the hilt. Her fans worship her with emulation, devotion and shrines to her.
I think it is interesting if not disturbing that her fans worship almost incessantly at the altar of Nicks, the Queen.

Anonymous said...

^ It's definitely disturbing in my opinion. Nothing wrong with being a super-fan, but some of the stuff SN fans bang on about is actually scary.

Donna Paley said...

Another example of Ruth trying to be the center of attention! Two other people have already told her to go away! She is consistently negative about everything, not just FM. The flying monkey comment is just Ruth and others like her, trying to be relevant. FAIL They call people who disagree with their negative opinions flying monkeys. I call people like Ruth, "Troll"

Donna Paley said...

YOU are a TROLL! GOOD DAY :)

Rutherford68 said...

How is Ruth being the center of attention with one post?

What she says is actually pretty accurate anyway. I say that as someone who's been part of this fan community for about 25 years now. You're post actually proves much of what she said as well.

If one post is being the center of attention, then you really are doing well.

Donna Paley said...

I don't even like Stevie's music. So the flying monkey comments do not apply to me. I just can't stomach trolls and that's what she does. She is regularly negative. Her point of view means nothing to me. But her regular nastiness stating her point of view is ridiculous. She is a typical troll. If my calling her out grabs your attention, then it does. But because people like this EP, it does not make them a flying monkey. Anytime someone disagrees with a negative review, they are called a flying monkey and that is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

What do Stevie fans ever do or say that is scary? She is a legend. She is an icon. When you see her live it is magical. She takes us flying monkeys to a magical place. She is beautiful inside and out. Not sure what someone who is not a fan is even doing on this site. The shows I have seen this year were truly special. Signed - a proud flying monkey.

Rutherford68 said...

I actually just took a quick look around and I can only find 3 posts from this "Ruth" character - including the one on this page. She's hardly a "regular" as you suggest.

And, re-reading the comments that I saw, she didn't call anyone a Flying Monkey that I can tell. She just explained what the term meant - accurately. And I don't see where she said that liking the EP makes anyone a Flying Monkey either.

If Ruth's opinions mean nothing to you, then why are you so obsessed and worked up about what she has to say? Especially since she's apparently had so little to say anyway.

Donna Paley said...

You don't agree with me?????? Then, you must be a flying monkey!!!!! Win!

Anonymous said...

What idiot created the term Flying Monkey for Stevie's fans anyway?

I love Stevie but that doesn't mean that I love everything that she does.

What I do believe isn't fair is how the critics always point out that Stevie can no longer hit the high notes while she can still sing in a lower register. I am also a fan of Lindsey's, but his voice isn't what it used to be either and yet he seems to escape the comments that are always made about Stevie's voice.

Rutherford68 said...

@Donna

You seem to have misunderstood the idea of Flying Monkeys totally. It's nothing to do with people not agreeing, it's ALL to do with a select group of fans acting as if to have an opinion, like yours mentioned above "I don't even like Stevie's music", is wrong or against some form of code that should never be broken. A Flying Monkey would tell you you're wrong to have that view or that you're just a troll looking to make trouble. You would likely get the rsponce "why are you even on this site?"....

They simply won't allow you to have a negative public opinion without having a go at you for it.

You last post has really painted you into a corner and shows how little you have read the comments before it and tried to understand what others are saying.

You're not listening, you're just erratically typing.

Donna Paley said...

No, YOU misunderstood.
You believe that because people disagree with your negative review, you can label them, "flying monkeys".
You obviously think you are smarter than you actually are. If you cannot accept positive reviews, just as you have a negative review, you are trolling. You are so wrapped up in hating on the issue that those who are not hating make you jump to calling them flying monkeys. Because someone disagrees with your negative comment, you dismiss them as a flying monkey.
Since you are so childish and jump to name calling, I responded in a manner you can comprehend. If they are flying monkeys, you are are a troll. It is sad that adults aren't beyond name calling. But such behavior is all you can understand. Just accept that others will be as positive as you are negative. No name calling needed. But again, it is obviously the only way you can interact with others. Consider this your time out, TROLL!

LindseysGuitarStrings said...

Donna, the only one trolling here is YOU. You are the only one that I see really arguing this issue with such vehemence. For someone who doesn't really care for Stevie Nicks, you seem to be awfully passionate about her and her fan base. You supposedly hate name calling but yet you do what you hate with the excuse "it's all (someone) will understand". You are the one throwing out names like "troll", "childish" and slyly calling others stupid.

YOU need to accept that others will be negative and positive, just are you are negative and positive. YOU don't need to be doing any name calling. But, obviously, it's something you feel is necessary because it is apparently all YOU can understand.

Consider THIS YOUR time out.

Nickslive said...

Consider this everyone's time out!