Due to her distinctive style and strong stage presence, Stevie Nicks often springs front of mind when thinking of Fleetwood Mac, but the songwriting of Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie were driving forces behind the group’s mainstream successes in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Considering the depth of their experience and track record of success, when Buckingham and McVie decided to collaborate on an album, it was all but fait accompli that the result – Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie – would be a strong release.
Opening number, Sleeping Around the Corner, features a breathy and hazy sound for the intro and verses, but the chorus flips the song around straight into jangly pop-rock territory, highlighting Buckingham’s fingerstyle approach to his guitar playing. The track would feel right at home on a record from the ‘60s or ‘70s, as would the slightly quirky Feel About You. Lead single, In My World, juxtaposes a lush chorus, with a main riff that is anchored by a mild – yet still melodious – dissonance, and deftly demonstrates the pair’s skills at crafting engaging songs.
Buckingham’s vocal delivery on Love Is Here to Stay falls into the love-it-or-hate-it category, but his arpeggiated guitar playing, and the harmonised vocals on the chorus, create a catchy folk-inspired song, while the use of echo on the guitar as the song draws to the end generates a pleasant, dreamy vibe. McVie’s warm voice adds weight to, and couples well with a groovy guitar riff and excellent percussion, on Too Far Gone ensuring that it is one of the album’s must-listen tracks.
Carnival Begin closes the album with a riff that constantly builds tension and, while the chorus provides some sense of release for the listener, enough residual suspense is maintained to drive the song through to the splendid solo and outro. Featuring performances from Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, on drum and bass respectively, Buckingham/McVie can feel a little like Fleetwood Mac-lite at times, and too often Buckingham and McVie rely on fading out instead of definitively concluding a song – as with Carnival Begin – and providing the listener with a true sense of closure.