This year is fast becoming the year of the throwback acts. With new albums by Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, My Bloody Valentine, David Bowie, and in a few months, the recently reunited Nine Inch Nails, there’s a lot to be excited about if you’re looking for some new gems by the old school crowd.
Enter Fleetwood Mac. On April 30, the classic blues rock-turned-pop rock hitmakers somewhat quietly released Extended Play, its first ever EP, on iTunes. It’s their first release in 10 years, since 2003 album Say You Will.
Track one, “Sad Angel,” is a refreshingly modern-sounding power pop number (with a touch of ’80s keyboard embellishments during the choruses). This is due to six-stringer Lindsey Buckingham’s lively and aggressive down-strokes. (And if you’ve paid any attention to Buckingham’s solo output of late, Seeds We Sow in particular, this won’t surprise you, as he, at age 63, still plays his guitars with the energy of a 25-year-old.)
The acoustic-driven “Without You” is a real treat, as it is a Steve Nicks love song from the Buckingham-Nicks (pre-Mac) days. The breezy, midtempo pace and always recognizable blending of Buckingham and Nicks’ vocals still works very well, even without Christine McVie (she left the group in 1998).
Buckingham wrote three of the EP’s four tracks, and in some places, it does carry with it the feel of a solo release (see the slow and gentile, piano-based “It Takes Time”). But it also has the aura of vintage Fleetwood Mac (ex. Rumours at times, which should please longtime fans. Original members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are indeed present and drive the rhythm section, steadily and smoothly, especially on final track, the catchy, pop number “Miss Fantasy.”
Fleetwood Mac is currently on an extensive world tour. You can get yourself some Fleetwood Mac tickets now.