Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie, “Lindsay Buckingham Christine McVie” (Atlantic)
The first duet album from Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie is nearly Fleetwood Mac, with only Stevie Nicks missing from the band’s classic lineup.
Its development began even before McVie rejoined the band after 16 years for the 2014-2015 “On With the Show” tour, when Buckingham recorded several songs with the Mac rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, who also contribute to the finished album.
More layers were added when Buckingham worked on snippets of chords, lyrics and melodies he was sent by McVie and a couple of their writing collaborations – the vocals-soaked pop of “Red Sun” and “Too Far Gone,” with a Knopfler-esque, bluesy guitar riff and pounding drums – are among the highlights of the self-titled album.
“Game of Pretend” is a trademark McVie piano-led ballad which starts with great promise but turns to mush on the refrain. The other track she penned alone on the 10-song album is the excellent closer “Carnival Begin,” her best vocal wonderfully framed by Buckingham’s production touches and his typically yearning guitar solo that fades away too soon.
If the album was meant to be part of a full Fleetwood Mac comeback at some point, the Buckingham tunes have more of a solo album feel.
Still, the track sharing a name with the last Mac tour reveals both the beauty and apparent inescapability in the life of a musician like Buckingham – “As long as I stand, I will take your hand, I will stand with my band/There’s nowhere to go, but on down the road, let’s get on with the show.”