Monday, December 05, 2022

Christine McVie appeared to maintain a cosmic serenity through it all

Voice of composure
Christine Mcvie helped hold Fleetwood Mac together with cosmic calm

The Washington Post

Love songs can be quaint little things or wild metaphysical proclamations, and it's so nice when they can be both, like in the case of Fleetwood Mac's Everywhere.

The year is 1987. The place is in the song's title. Christine Mcvie, her band's sturdiest yet somewhat stealthiest member, soars into the refrain on a rising melody that feels like a heart being released from gravity. Then comes a line as casually wonderful as a scribbled love note. “I wanna be with you everywhere.”

Here's the small way to hear it: I want you by my side when I wake up, when I walk the dog, when I do the grocery shopping.

Here's the big way to hear it: I want to experience the entirety of space-time with you, the sheer immensity of our love permeating every moment and location in this known universe, including the produce aisle.

In the turbulence of the Fleetwood Mac universe, it's also easy to hear Everywhere as a sort of culmination.

Mcvie, who died Wednesday at 79, wrote the song for the band's last great album, Tango in the Night, and it contains so many of the group's paradoxical magic tricks — vocal harmonies that sound both dreamy and in-your-face; a groove that lands pillowy and taut; that twitchy yearning beneath an overall sheen of calm that makes so many Fleetwood Mac songs feel effortless, urgent, fragile and expensive.

Famously, Mcvie was the voice of composure in her historically tumultuous crew. She married Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie in 1968, then joined the group a few years later, only to divorce in 1976 — a separation outshone by a concurrent split between bandmates Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. A year later, the gang released their planeteating Rumours album and became the biggest rock stars drawing breath.

McVie appeared to maintain a cosmic serenity through it all. This year, in an interview with Rolling Stone, she described herself as “the Mother Teresa who would hang out with everybody or just try and (keep) everything nice and cool and relaxed” — additionally noting, “Even though I am quite a peaceful person, I did enjoy that storm.”

Was she talking about her role in the band's dramarama or her place in their music?

Focus your attention on Mcvie's voice during the finest songs that she wrote, co-wrote, sung and co-sung — Don't Stop, You Make Loving Fun, Hold Me, Little Lies, Everywhere — and you can hear the durability of her singing as a form of peacekeeping, imbuing Fleetwood Mac's opulence with a sense of consistency, continuity and equanimity.

In that same interview, when asked in which era of the band she felt most happy, Mcvie said, “I think I was happy pretty much all the time.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This could almost be an elouquate eulogy for our "Songbird". So well composed.

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