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Old 09-15-2019, 10:17 AM
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aleuzzi aleuzzi is offline
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Join Date: May 2003
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Originally Posted by David View Post
To push my iconoclasm in everybody's face, I actually rather like Second Time. Stevie drops her pretensions and poses, and lets us hear her at a vulnerable moment. It truly feels much more authentic to me than Freedom or Affairs of the Heart - I'm not bluffing. By 1990, I was really bored with the Stevie Nicks mystique and wanted something different. I wanted to scrape off all that "moon spirit" crap (which was a lot less charismatic in a zonked-out singer in her mid 40s than it was fifteen years earlier) by then and see a rebirth of Stevie's artistry, whatever it actually looked like. And I suppose there are other moments on the album that are good enough - good hooks, good drumming, good vocal harmonies (because Rick and Billy were superb harmony singers, which they never got any credit for in Fleetwood Mac). But the album was mostly a throwaway. People have accused me of coming to that conclusion only in hindsight, but that's not true. I haven't changed my mind about it since 1990. The sound of it isn't even desperately commercial (the way Say You Will or Mirage always sound like they're trying to "tap in" to something in the radio audience), but it's the sound of a band that has kind of given up and just wants to take the road most traveled. It has that air of grabbing anyone who walks by that we were talking about in another thread. I don't think there was much inspiration in the people who made Behind the Mask, including songs, instrumentation (it's very impersonal - none of those quirks you came to associate with the instrumentalists in Fleetwood Mac from 1967 to 1987), cover art, and so on. Even the B sides are hopeless. The decisions the band made about almost everything give me the sense of having been drawn out of a hat quite at random. It's a good lesson for Fleetwood Mac and other bands: If you're not feeling particularly inspired, keep the work low key. Don't try making a "statement." That's the beauty of the band's next album, Time. It isn't any more brilliant or any less generic, but it's low key and modest, and that gives it a little charm.
I have never disliked a Mac album as much as BEHIND THE MASK. I have felt this way since the day it was released. In my opinion, only “Save Me” achieves the minimum standard. Your comments about Stevie are right on: by 1990, I was open to hearing anything other than the tired mystical fantasies. When “Blue Denim” arrived a couple years later, I was genuinely enthusiastic about her for the first time since “Imperial Hotel.”

I did like TIME, in part because it surfaced from nowhere, and because Christine’s vocals were excellent (even if the keyboard she was playing sounded awful). Add to this that the band were no longer pretending to be what they were, were stretching out and trying new things....Bekka and Billy were earthy and modest. I liked their chemistry.
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