The four songs on the new Fleetwood Mac EP -- which the legendary pop-rock outfit put up for sale on
But the other tunes on "Extended Play," newly composed by Buckingham and co-produced by him and L.A. studio pro Mitchell Froom, feel no less rooted in earlier iterations of this on-again/off-again institution.
"Miss Fantasy" has some of the folky back-porch guitar action of "Never Going Back Again," while the stripped-down "It Takes Time" could be Buckingham's version of Christine McVie's big piano ballad, "Songbird." And opener "Sad Angel," which you can hear below, shimmers with the glossy textures of 1987's "Tango in the Night." (Incidentally, if you want to get a sense of Fleetwood Mac's enduring influence on synthed-up young rock acts like Phoenix, go straight to "Tango" -- it looms larger these days than the vaunted "Rumours" does.)
Nothing about this self-reference surprises, of course, especially given that Fleetwood Mac is in the midst of a giant arena tour that will bring the band to the Hollywood Bowl on May 25 and Anaheim's
And yet "Extended Play" -- Fleetwood Mac's first studio output since "Say You Will" in 2003 -- doesn't sound stale or overworked; indeed, the songs have an impressive crispness (after only a handful of spins, anyway) that makes their familiarity seem less like evidence of a tapped creative supply than like proof that this is simply the kind of music Fleetwood Mac writes.
"I remember you," Buckingham sings over and over again near the end of "Miss Fantasy," and he might be addressing his own melody. But it's a good one. You'll remember it too.
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