Skip to main content

11. Fleetwood Mac - Say You Will (2003)

There are two things I'll continue to mourn about the passing of vinyl as the dominant format for music releases. One is the packaging (I think because the space to fill was so big, artists used to put a lot more thought and effort into it). The second thing is length. While, due to capacity issues, LPs couldn't be too long without spilling into double sets, CDs have 78 or so minutes. So in this CD age, some artists feel it is necessary to use every one of those minutes, like Fleetwood Mac.

Their return album has 18 songs (the shortest ones just under 4 minutes), seemingly under the supposition that more is better. Of course that's not the case, but before I quibble let's just take a moment to celebrate the fact that this record even exists, given the band's turbulent history. It's amazing that they are even alive and speaking to one another, let alone producing vital music.

The band has gone through several permutations, and this latest version is sadly without Christine McVie, who was my favorite songwriter in the band (Say You Love Me, Little Lies, and Everywhere are all hers). For that reason alone, I almost avoided this album, but I'm glad I didn't. While the album would definitely have benefited from her presence (though with another songwriter it would have had to have been a two CD set), it doesn't sink without her.

That's because there's A LOT of great stuff here. What's The World Coming To, Thrown Down, Say You Will, and Peacekeeper all deserve to be on a future Fleetwood Mac compilation, and at least four other songs can stand alongside anything else they've done.

Even so, there's too much here. Of course, one advantage CDs have over vinyl is that it's so simple to skip songs you don't like. But, I suppose I'm old fashioned in that I like to listen to an album as an experience. I don't want to have to skip songs. In that spirit, there's my shot at a 13 track version of the album:
1. What's The World Coming To
2. Illume 9-11
3. Thrown Down
4. Miranda
5. Say You Will
6. Peacekeeper
7. Smile At You
8. Running Through The Garden
9. Steal Your Heart Away
10. Bleed To Love Her
11. Everybody Finds Out
12. Destiny Rules
13. Say Goodbye

This is not to say that the 5 songs I dumped have no merit. They all have something interesting or cool going on, but they could have easily been saved for B-Sides. A leaner, meaner version of the album might have swiftly been declared a masterpiece. As it stands, we have to settle for a better-than-it-should-be return from a great band.

Rating: B
Fave Song: Thrown Down

P.S. Do any of my fellow English majors also think that Running Through The Garden is based on Rappaccini's Daughter by Nathanial Hawthone?


Popular posts from this blog

Why Weezer is the Definitive Gen X Band

I’ve been thinkin’ ‘bout my g-g-g-generation.   One of the more fascinating side effects of the ever-intensifying culture wars is the emergence of generational mud-slinging battle between Baby Boomers and Millennials. Social media has played the role of both venue and promoter, and news outlets have done their best to cheer it on. As a member of the cohort that's situated between the two factions - Generation X - and thus removed from the fray, I've regarded this as an amusing sideshow in the never-ending circus of nauseating Internet discourse. The most illuminating part to me is how the conflict, and various reports about it, consistently omits the existence the generation between these two, and how very appropriate that is.   Now I'll start with the disclaimer that I'm well aware that no group of people is homogeneous. Generation X encompasses many different personality types, cultural experiences, economic realities, and a possible 15-year age difference (Gen Xers

20 From 2020

Every year since 2003 (coincidentally, the year I started this blog), I've made a compilation of some of my favorite songs of the year. I love the act of compiling and ordering, finding songs that speak to one another lyrically and that flow together seamlessly.  In order for the mixes to have longevity, I've typically avoided choosing too many songs that lyrically reflect the events of the year. That's gotten harder every year since 2016, and I was initially worried 2020 was going to be the tipping point. This year's mix might have looked a lot different if the presidential election had gone the other way. It would have certainly been more angry and despairing, and would have included such topical songs as Ben Folds's "2020," Ben Gibbard's "Proxima B," and Sloan's "Silence Trumps Lies." All good tunes, but I'm not sure how much I'll want to revisit them. Thankfully, instead, we have a mix with a variety of moods and cov

12 More by Jimmy Eat World

Sometimes an artist just needs 12  more  songs to summarize their career. Case in point... Sometimes your favorite band sneaks up on you. I'd been a Jimmy Eat World fan since the late 1990s, and have never missed one of their albums. But they didn't become my favorite band until a 2013 concert at First Avenue, where I found myself singing along with every single song by heart. It was then that I realized that for every phase of my adult life, Jimmy Eat World has been there to soundtrack it. You'll definitely want to check out the  12 by Jimmy Eat World  list to relive the first part of their career. 1. "Big Casino" (from Chase This Light , 2007) A highly caffeinated tune that contains one of my top ten all-time Jimmy Eat World lyrics: "Well there's lots of smart ideas in books I've never read / When the girls come talk to me I wish to hell I had." 2. "Always Be" (from  Chase This Light , 2007) Chase This Light came out when I was 30 yea