Originally Posted by aleuzzi
Behind the Mask is the only FM record I don't own. I simply can't bear to hear it. I remember being so disappointed by its generic glossiness when it came out. Over the years, I've tried several times to reconcile myself with the record, but I just can't. With the exception of "Save Me," nothing moves or impresses me.
It's not solely the absence of Buckingham that is a problem. I DO think the Mac could have rebounded from his quitting with a very fine record. It's just that somehow that new combination of people never really sparked together.
I don't blame anyone in particular. Vito is a GREAT guitar player who I enjoy listening to in other contexts (including on Stevie's solo work). Burnette is a clever songwriter with enough charm to forge ahead as a solo artist. But these guys just don't mix with the other two songwriters/singers. And, often, the worst parts of the record are from the veteran contributors. "Skies the Limit" is an all-time McVie low. I cringe when I hear it. Nothing from Stevie sounds genuine or inspired.
I agree completely about the "glossiness" of this record. It's an album that I simply refuse to really listen to (or accept) for this reason. Yes, there are hints at the "rock" nature of the band, but by and large BTM is a Adult Contemporary record. I suppose you could argue that Mirage and Tango have a glossiness as well (after all, they were from the 80s), but even the poppiest tunes on those records were arranged and produced in a slightly off-kilter manner that made those records for more intriguing listens than Behind the Mask.
I don't really blame Rick and Billy for this, nor do I think that Christine and Stevie's songs are horrible - as songs. But the way everything was produced on the album is such a disappointment. I get the feeling when I hear those songs that the intention was to dominate the AC market as the bands marketing team knew it was a long shot to maintain any relevance on rock radio.