Christine McVie, Christine McVie

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 09.12.11 in Reviews

Christine McVie

Christine McVie
Merging Fleetwood Mac’s pop-rock with boilerplate ’80s MTV clatter

Having written and sung many of Fleetwood Mac’s smashes, including “Over My Head,” “Say That You Love Me,” “Don’t Stop,” “You Make Loving Fun” and “Hold Me,” Christine McVie could do this kind of thing in her sleep, and that’s essentially what the keyboardist does here. Although it made Billboard’s Top 30 album chart and produced a Top 10 single, McVie’s 1984 solo album – the only one recorded while she was a full-fledged Mac-er – has faded from both popular and critical consciousness for good reason. She teams with Average White Band drummer Steve Ferrone, former Hall & Oates guitarist Todd Sharp, Kenny Loggins bassist George Hawkins, and famous friends like Lindsey Buckingham, Mick Fleetwood, Stevie Winwood, and Eric Clapton to merge the Mac’s pop-rock with boilerplate ’80s MTV clatter; check those pseudo-Police riffs in “Keeping Secrets.” There are ample chops, but little swing and even less intimacy; stiff drums, brittle guitars, and harsh sonics abound. Most tempos are sprightly, but at no point does anyone seem to break a sweat: McVie strikes her hit-making marks so easily and so squarely that the abundant hooks, even on the actual hit, “Got a Hold on Me,” rarely grab.