Monday, May 06, 2013

Review: Fleetwood Mac show they can still turn out catchy mid-tempo rock on the sublime, four-track “Extended Play.”

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Fleetwood Mac "Extended Play"
By Will Hermes
Rolling Stone
May 7, 2013

"We fall to Earth together/The crowd calling out for more," goes a couplet on this four-track EP by the remaining Macs (Christine McVie sits out). Note to band: That doesn't mean y'all have to answer. But if their first release of new music in a decade isn't replacing any classics, the voices of Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks can still bring chills. The gem is "Without You," a breezy Nicks-written folk rocker from the couple's pre-Mac project Buckingham Nicks: Largely acoustic, with twined harmonies, its chords twist and resolve like a sun-dappled mobile on a breezy day. And we confess: Hearing the ex-lovers put words in each other's mouths remains as fascinating as ever.

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Music Review:
Fleetwood Mac “Extended Play”
By Hardeep Phull
New York Post May 6, 2013
★★ 1/2

AFTER 10 years of radio silence, Fleetwood Mac shocked almost everyone last week by issuing a four-track EP on iTunes. What may be even more shocking is that it’s actually pretty good.

Even with the obvious wear and tear in their voices, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham still sound sublime when they lock together on “Without You” (a song dating back to their pre-Mac days) and the gorgeous chorus of “Miss Fantasy.”

True, those tracks are otherwise run of the mill, but there’s a real gem within their mini-set: the opener “Sad Angel,” a brisk and brilliant mid-tempo rocker with the kind of instantly singable hook that used to help them move records by the silo-full.

Fleetwood Mac show they can still turn out catchy mid-tempo rock on the sublime, four-track “Extended Play.”

Such gargantuan sales aren’t likely to be replicated these days, of course, but it’s reassuring to hear that Fleetwood Mac can still pull some magic out of the air when the fancy takes them.

Fleetwood Mac "Extended Play"
by Eric Pahls

Ten years after their last studio album, Fleetwood Mac (Lindsey Buckingham, Stevie Nicks, John McVie, Mick Fleetwood) is back with a brand-new 4-song EP, called, funny enough, Extended Play.

Extended Play features 3 brand new songs written by guitarist Buckingham.  It also hosts Without You, which was written by Nicks 4 decades ago in her pre-Fleetwood Mac days in her and Buckingham's band, Buckingham Nicks.  This is the only song Nicks wrote on the EP, as her mother died when the other 3 members began work on the recordings.

Extended Play starts with Sad Angel, which is an up-tempo rocker filled with repitition and the glamour of the 63 to 67-year-old supergroup.  This song is the crowning jewel of this EP, and it quickly signals what Buckingham has said, the band has chapters yet to be written.

Without You is a song rich with acoustic charm and laced with the sweet and rosinate harmony that has defined Nicks and Buckingham for the entirety of their tumultuous career together.  Nicks has called it the nicest words she has written about Buckingham, as most of their hits are the songs during and after their very ugly split.  The song was lost, and turned up on YouTube.  It seems to come out at a great time, as the duo seems to be getting along as well as ever.  Without You is a beautiful and simple love song that transcends from it's origin 40 years ago to its release this week with its meaning and voices perfectly intact.

The real surprise of this EP is It Takes Time, which is a solo with Buckingham on piano (whaaat?!) and a touch of orchestration in certain points of the song.  It is a sad ballad that takes an introspective look at his place in what we assume is the failure of he and Nicks' relationship, and the healing that follows.  It is a quiet and gentle song with an intense amount of emotion.  It is uncharacteristic of most of Buckingham's more punk-rock work, but can be looked at as an unexpected and refreshing change of pace.

Miss Fantasy is another upbeat jam with Buckingham covering the verses and Nicks coming in on the harmony in the chorus.  It is a slightly upbeat acoustic quirky rock song that wraps up the EP with the classic Buckingham style of going just outside the norm.

This EP is a great sign towards hopes of a new album, and continued productivity of one of the greatest bands of all time.  Lindsey is still the guitar hero and musical mad genius he always has been, John McVie still lays into stirring bass lines, Mick Fleetwood can get you on your feet and moving with a killer rhythm, and Stevie Nicks can floor you with that low, rosinate and nearly indescribable voice that remains a treasure for adoring fans.  Fleetwood Mac lives on, and I strongly encourage you to check out the new EP, Extended Play, right now!    

A new Fleetwood Mac track finds the group as lively as ever
By Noah Cruickshank May 6, 2013

In Hear This, A.V. Club writers sing the praises of songs they know well—some inspired by a weekly theme and some not, but always songs worth hearing.

Fleetwood Mac’s announcement that it was making an EP was surprising: The group hadn’t released new music since 2003’s underrated Say You Will, and its current arena tour seemed more like another back-catalog cash-grab than a chance to road-test new material. Likewise, the band hasn’t done much publicity behind the new music, keeping the release date secret and only playing two of the new songs live. But there’s no reason for Lindsey Buckingham and company to be coy: Extended Play’s opener, “Sad Angel,” is everything a fan could want from latter-day Mac. With frenetic guitar from Buckingham, expert harmony from Stevie Nicks, and a chorus that’s catchy as hell, the song is a great reminder of how well these folks can craft pop music. Buckingham has been making quality albums on his own for this past decade, but he’s livelier than ever on “Sad Angel,” drawing parallels between the bombast of war and rock music. Even Mick Fleetwood’s drumming is more energetic than it’s been since the ’80s. If Fleetwood Mac has more tracks like this in them, here’s hoping another album surfaces soon. 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe Sad Angel will actually take off!

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