|Victoria has contributed 5 reviews to The Penguin: Everything That is Fleetwood Mac:|
She's The One
A Great Album, But Not a Good Place to Start
Review written by Victoria, September 9th, 2004
If there is any one band in the world that I love more than Fleetwood Mac, it would have to be Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. To say I listened to this album with a biased ear is an understatement. Petty has topped my list of favorite musical artists since I was the tender age of eight. Though this is by no means one of Pettys strongest albums (he repeats himself twice here with two versions each of the songs Walls and Angel Dream and includes two cover songs Lucinda Williams Change the Locks and Becks Asshole) it is still a treat to listen to, with vocal appearances by both Lindsey Buckingham and the late Carl Wilson, as well as drumming by Ringo Starr. Favorites include the single Walls (Circus) (one of three tracks to include Buckingham), and the rockers Zero From Outerspace and Supernatural Radio. Petty heads will appreciate this one, but those who are not familiar with Pettys music would be well advised to look elsewhere for an introduction and for that, 1979s Damn The Torpedoes is a better choice or play it safe with Greatest Hits. But for those of us who know and love Pettys music, you cant go wrong with this one.
John McVie's Gotta Band With Lola Thomas
What Was He Thinking?
Review written by Victoria, August 30th, 2004
John McVie goes solo. Sort of. He actually just formed his own band hence the title, John McVies Gotta Band. This 1992 album didnt sell well, and its easy to see why. Singer Lola Thomas vocals are unimpressive, and even the musical presence of McVie, Billy Burnette, and George Hawkins cant save this one from mediocrity. The only worthwhile songs here are Now I Know and The Bigger the Love. Both tracks are Billy Burnette originals and youd be better off just picking up some solo Burnette. John McVies Gotta Band is one of those albums that you might buy just so you can say you have it.
Bekka & Billy
This is What Country Music Should Be
Review written by Victoria (email@example.com) from Vacaville, CA, August 28th, 2004
Here's an interesting concept Country artists who actually write their own material. Sure, many country singers write a few of their own songs but the vast majority buy their songs from professional writers. Bekka Bramlett and Billy Burnette, however, have no need to get their songs elsewhere. Both shine here as fantastic lyricists, most notably on the tracks Better Days, Through the Walls, and Heart to Call Home. Any fans of the country cross over diva Faith Hill will already be familiar with one of this discs stand out tracks. Faith covered the song Better Days on her album Breathe. But her version is a butchery of an otherwise magnificent piece. Faiths mediocre voice does not do the song justice. Here, though, the song is delivered the way it should be. Bekkas rich earthy voice conveys the true emotions of the song. The listener is left with a tear in the eye and a touched heart. Through the Walls, a track co-written by both Burnette and Bramlett, speaks of childhood days listening to the guitar work of their fathers. It is a beautifully written song and once again Bekkas wonderful voice touches you in a way that few singers can. She is truly one of musics best female vocalists. Heart to Call Home puts Burnette on lead vocals and his delivery of this song is no less impressive than Bramletts performances. He sings about the endless search to find the one. It is a timeless subject, and one to which everybody can relate. Though I call Better Days, Through the Walls, and Heart to Call Home the stand out tracks, there really isnt a weak song on this album. Even people who dont like country music will appreciate the simple yet beautifully crafted love songs that fill this 12 track disc.
Trouble In Shangri-La
The Ol' Gypsy Just Doesn't Have It Anymore
Review written by Victoria (firstname.lastname@example.org) from Vacaville, CA, August 20th, 2004
Stevie Nicks was once a truly great artist. The songs she made with Fleetwood Mac and as a duo with former beau Lindsey Buckingham are timeless and beautiful. Her solo debut, Bella Donna, was nothing short of a masterpiece. But the solo releases that followed have fallen progressively short of the greatness of her past. Trouble In Shangri La is no exception, and to my mind is some of her WORST material to date. The music on this album is without real beauty or true emotion. It has a very artificial feel to it that is anything but a pleasure to the ears. Her attempt to reinvigorate her sound with the input of such recent artists as Sheryl Crow, Macy Gray and Natalie Maines has proven futile. Worst of all is the greatly deteriorated sound of Stevie's voice. It has become nasal, and as the years have progressed it has sounded more and more like that of Stevie's mentor Tom Petty. A sound that works well for him, but most definitely not for her. All of this comes as a real shame, because Stevie's talent as a lyricist has remained and the words still hold the emotion and beauty that the music and vocals lack. But even such great poetry is not enough to make this album worth while.
Law and Order
A Light and Fun Album Sure to Make You Smile
Review written by Victoria (email@example.com), August 15th, 2004
After the frustrating and heartbreaking troubles that he had to endure while making both Rumours and Tusk, I think Lindsey was looking to have a bit of fun, and it shows. Don't expect any serious music making here. Full of upbeat and poppy originals as well as some well chosen cover tunes, Law and Order is a welcome break from the sadness and anger that is so often found in Buckingham's work. That sorrow is not totally absent from this album, however. It creeps in during "Shadow of the West", with lines like "I'm alone, a lonely man" and "Once upon a time I was strong and proud." The listener is reminded that all is still not well for one of the most underrated geniuses of popular music. This reminder is short lived however, as the next track on the album is the silliest of all. In short, this is an album that, for the most part, is just plain fun.