She Will Have Her Way: The Songs Of Tim & Neil Finn

She Will Have Her WayIt’s very simple, the premise of this tribute to the music of New Zealand’s premiere pop music exports, Tim and Neil Finn (Split Enz, Crowded House, and respective solo careers and collaborations as the Finn Brothers). The basic idea is this: female or predominantly female acts from Australia and New Zealand reinterpret songs from various stages of the Finns’ careers in their own style. What emerges from that idea is an array of wildly different styles, voices and degrees of fidelity to the source material.

If you’re not from that part of the world, you may not know who virtually all of the performers are (I can relate – prior to this CD, I must confess that I had only heard of Boh Runga and Natalie Imbruglia). But like a lot of “various artists” projects heavy with smaller acts, you’ll probably walk away from the endeavour wanting to sample more of their work. Clare Bowditch’s rendition of “Fall At Your Feet” gets things rolling, and as much as I was faintly disappointed by the fact that the song that gave this album its name wasn’t actually covered, “Fall At Your Feet” serves as a good eye-opener when the unchanged lyric “I’m really close tonight, and I feel myself moving inside her” is sung by a female vocalist. This is an excellent cover too, stripping the song down to basics somewhat and yet retaining so much of its yearning feel.

A few of the covers are almost baffling, but at the same time I admire the reinvention of every single one of them. Renee Geyer transforms “Into Temptation” into a pop song with hip-hop influences, and “Persuasion” and “One Step Ahead” make a successful leap into bubblegum pop territory. Some of the covers don’t stray far from the source material at all – “Won’t Give In”, from the Finn Brothers’ 2004 album, becomes just a little bit country-fried, while the group Little Birdy turns the dense synth textures of “Six Months In A Leaky Boat” into dense guitar textures. “I Hope I Never”, while a bit stripped down from the synth-orchestral arrangement of the 1980 Split Enz version, retains its soaring, wistful vocals thanks to Lisa Miller. “Better Be Home Soon”, which was always written as a ballad reflecting the thoughts of a woman whose significant other is away from home far too often, finally gets to be sung by a woman here.

I’ll admit that I wasn’t crazy about Holly Throsby’s “Not The Girl You Think You Are” remake, but that’s just down to it being not my favorite style of singing; your mileage may vary. “Don’t Dream It’s Over” is a nice cover, but almost strips the song down too much, only to restore it to its full glory by recasting the famous organ solo as a choral piece.

For the most part, the lyrics are left unchanged; a few adjustments are made for gender here and there. I was a little dismayed that “like a Christian fearing vengeance from above” was completely excised from “Distant Sun”; Brooke Fraser’s cover of the song is very nice, but there’s a little voice in my head that says these artists are supposed to be reinterpreting the songs here, not rewriting them. I found this single omission more jarring than any of the more daring stylistic alterations, because it changed what was being said and not how it was being said. (Neil Finn’s recurring “lapsed Catholic” theme is an intriguing thread running through a great many of his songs, and part of the character of his work.) But then maybe I’m being a bit too defensive of the source material there.

There are other ways to drastically change the character of a song, though. Sophie Koh’s reading of the early Enz tune “Charlie” takes the song’s already dark narrative – involving someone waking up from a hangover and realizing that they killed their friend during an argument the night before – and puts a whole different spin on it by making the song fast and fun, leaving the story intact but generating a “crazy chick” vibe that makes it unnerving in a whole new way – as if the person doing the singing isn’t remorseful of what has happened, but is instead blissfully unaware. “Charlie” is almost punk rock in this incarnation, and it may well be the best thing on the CD. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for some of Sophie Koh’s originals. I was surprised by how much I liked Natalie Imbruglia’s take on the Crowded House number “Pineapple Head”, too.

rating: 4 out of 4So, the question is…will you enjoy She Will Have Her Way? I give it a strong recommendation – in particular, even though I didn’t get it (mainly because I’ve already got all of the original albums on which these songs appeared), the 2-CD version which allows you to compare the covers with the original recordings. You might find some of the differences jaw-dropping. In any case, these were great songs to begin with – lyrically and musically outstanding works – and they survive even the wildest changes and still emerge as great songs. Whether you’re a Finn fan daring to try out some different takes on your favorites, or someone just now sampling both these artists and the music of Tim and Neil Finn for the first time, this is a solid collection that’ll keep you coming back for more.

Order this CD

  1. Fall At Your Feet – Claire Bowditch (3:50)
  2. Stuff And Nonsense – Missy Higgins (3:31)
  3. I’ll Never Know – Goldenhorse (3:04)
  4. Into Temptation – Renee Geyer (4:56)
  5. Six Months In A Leaky Boat – Little Birdy (3:53)
  6. Better Be Home Soon – Kasey Chambers (3:19)
  7. Distant Sun – Brooke Fraser (3:56)
  8. Not The Girl You Think You Are – Holly Throsby (3:37)
  9. I Hope I Never – Lisa Miller (4:09)
  10. Don’t Dream It’s Over – Sarah Blasko (4:42)
  11. One Step Ahead – Amiel (3:01)
  12. Four Seasons In One Day – New Buffalo (4:00)
  13. Won’t Give In – Sara Storer (4:18)
  14. Pineapple Head – Natalie Imbruglia (3:23)
  15. Persuasion – Stellar* (3:41)
  16. Charlie – Sophie Koh (3:47)

Released by: EMI
Release date: 2005
Total running time: 61:07

Ben Folds – Songs For Silverman

Ben Folds - Songs For SilvermanWith a portfolio that includes such ironic Generation X anthems as “Song For The Dumped”, “Rockin’ The Suburbs” and collaborations with William Shatner and Weird Al Yankovic, it may be easy to pigeonhole Ben Folds as a wacky alt-rock guy, and for a while, even he might have been content with that label. But his latest album, Songs For Silverman, is a bit less loaded down with that almost prerequisite irony – it’s a finely crafted, mature collection that, while not without moments of humor, acknowledges that the artist (and, perhaps, his fan base) is growing up.

There are several standouts among the introspective set of songs here; “Bastard” laments how we all get more set in our ways and inflexible as we get older; this song really sets a lot of the album’s tone – it’s steeped in the pure pop songwriting and performance sensibilities of the 1970s, the age of Carole King and James Taylor and Billy Joel and pre-African-percussion-obsessed Paul Simon. I realize that the Billy Joel comparison is nothing new where Ben Folds is concerned, but the comparison has evolved beyond the superficial one-man-and-his-piano similarities here.

“You To Thank”, “Trusted” and “Landed” are further examples of Folds’ rooted-in-the-70s style for this album, being a particular combination of lush and bluesy at the same time, with “Landed” being possibly the best thing on the album and a wise (yet unconventional) choice for a lead single. “Jesusland” is a slightly ironic travelogue through the American midwest with some nice string work and great vocal harmonies.

For those fans who, like myself, eagerly snatched up Folds’ three between-albums solo EPs in 2003 and 2004, Songs For Silverman contains only one of those songs: a surprisingly earnest, country-fried rendition of “Give Judy My Notice”. I was taken aback to hear this particular song re-recorded with pedal steel guitar, but at the same time, Folds’ own inclination toward a southern twang makes it authentic, and I quickly grew to like this version better.

Another highlight of the whole album is “Time”, a song that really made me appreciate what a fantastic voice Folds has. I’ve always liked his voice, but something about Songs For Silverman‘s stripped-down, spare style brings the vocals to the forefront. (Speaking of vocals, “Time” features some great backing vocals credited to the aforementioned Mr. Al Yankovic, someone else whose voice tends to be underrated.)

In short, a fantastic album, one of the best things I’ve heard this year. It may not have the “punch line” of Rockin’ The Suburbs, but Songs For Silverman doesn’t need a punch line. There are still plenty of instances of 4 out of 4classic Ben Folds humor on his recent series of EPs (and again, I can’t recommend strongly enough that fans pick those CDs up, because Folds as made a whole album’s worth of material in the interval between Suburbs and Silverman, and none of it has been “reject” material). Songs For Silverman is a fine example of some damned good songwriting, something for which Ben Folds is long overdue some credit.

Order this CD

  1. Bastard (5:23)
  2. You To Thank (3:36)
  3. Jesusland (4:30)
  4. Landed (4:28)
  5. Gracie (2:40)
  6. Trusted (4:08)
  7. Give Judy My Notice (3:37)
  8. Late (3:58)
  9. Sentimental Guy (3:03)
  10. Time (4:30)
  11. Prison Food (4:15)

Released by: Epic / Sony
Release date: 2005
Total running time: 44:12

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Finn Brothers – Won’t Give In

Finn Brothers - Won't Give In CD singleThe first single from Tim & Neil Finn’s recent Everyone Is Here album, “Won’t Give In” is accompanied on this CD single by a couple of songs that, perhaps, lend a little bit of insight into why that album was essentially recorded twice.

The lead single itself is, naturally, the same as what appears on the album, no surprises there. The real gem of this three-track CD is “Way Back Down”, a Neil-heavy number with some fun lyrics and interesting musical structure that just begs for a singalong. “Way Back Down” was produced by Mitchell Froom, the Crowded House producer who worked with the Finns to rerecord all but one of the tracks for Everyone Is Here almost from scratch. As catchy as it is, I’m surprised that this song didn’t make the cut for the album itself; I could actually nominate a song or two whose place it could’ve taken.

“Almost” means that some elements, especially the occasional orchestral backing arrangement, was salvaged from the original sessions produced by the legendary Tony Visconti. The second non-album B-side featured here, “Sunset Swim”, is a survivor of those original sessions, and it’s a laid-back, folky number with some interesting, singing-in-the-round elements to it. Interestingly, the one Visconti-produced track to survive on the album itself was the slickly-produced “Disembodied Voices”, which didn’t sound out of step with the Froom-produced tracks. “Sunset Swim”, on the other hand, is loose enough that it almost hearkens back to the 3 out of 4original Finn Brothers album – and whether the artists or their label made the decision, one gets the feeling that someone wanted to avoid that comparison.

An interesting trio of songs, this one – it’s worth it just to hear “Way Back Down”.

Order this CD

  1. Won’t Give In (4:18)
  2. Way Back Down (4:12)
  3. Sunset Swim (3:50)

Released by: Parlophone / EMI
Release date: 2004
Total running time: 12:22

Jason Falkner – Bliss Descending

Jason Falkner - Bliss DescendingIt’s been far, far too long since we’ve heard anything new from Jason Falkner that wasn’t attached to a side project of some sort. Touring with his band TV Eye has taken up much of Falkner’s time the past few years, and he has done some interesting solo stuff along the way – Bedtime With The Beatles and a track on the Lynne Me Your Ears ELO/Jeff Lynne tribute collection, among other things. And there have been what seems like a half dozen releases of Falkner’s B-sides and demos along the way – all to cater to fans who are eagerly awaiting more solo work from the man himself. At long last, Bliss Descending brings us an all-too-brief taste of what Jason Falkner has been up to in his own studio.

Weighing in at only five songs, Bliss Descending is really surprisingly understated. Oddly enough, its standout track, the lively and very ELO-esque “Lost Myself” doesn’t hit until the end of the EP, and I had to go back and listen to the first four tracks all over again because that one song is so catchy, it immediately washes the others away. Not that they’re not good songs, but “Lost Myself” is that good – it’s the kind of tune that turns somewhat rational folks like me into fans rabid enough to pick up all of those demo/B-side collections, hoping for some lost gem like this one.

“The Neighbor” kicks things off strongly, but it has some fairly weak and repetitive lyrics; it’s a good song that needs a stronger set of words. “They Put Her In The Movies”, “Feeling No Pain” and “Moving Up” are decent songs, but, at the risk of making an unfair comparison, there’s nothing that really knocks the door down, walks in and makes you sit up and take notice on the order of “I Live” or “She Goes To Bed” or “Honey”. At least not until the last track, which stands up nicely alongside any of those.

4 out of 4Still, I’m prepared to recommend this one to you, because a fair-to-middling Jason Falkner tune is better than quite a few artists’ best. If you’re wondering why I keep coming back to this guy’s work over and over again in theLogBook.com’s music review section, check out Bliss Descending – it’s an inexpensive gateway into Falkner’s other work, which also happens to rock.

    Order this CD in the Store

  1. The Neighbor (4:31)
  2. They Put Her In The Movies (3:44)
  3. Feeling No Pain (4:58)
  4. Moving Up (5:07)
  5. Lost Myself (4:01)

Released by: Wreckchord Records
Release date: 2004
Total running time: 22:27

Finn Brothers – Everyone Is Here

Finn Brothers - Everyone Is HereIn the nine years since their first album hit the streets (and I was a bit of an early adopter too, snatching up an import copy months before a North American distribution deal was even hinted at), it seems I’ve had a bit of a hard time selling everyone on the merits of The Finn Brothers as an act unto themselves. And y’know, it wasn’t Crowded House’s Woodface, and it wasn’t Split Enz reborn, it was its own unique, rough-hewn entity. Even if you’d heard everything that either Tim or Neil Finn had done before, the original Finn Brothers album was not something that any of that had prepared you for.

With Everyone Is Here, however, there’s a much more obvious polish to the whole thing – and in the finest tradition of the aforementioned gem of a Crowded House album, the whole thing was, for all intents and purposes, recorded twice over. Everyone Is Here was originally recorded in an upstate New York studio under the auspices of legendary producer Tony Visconti, but apparently the brothers changed their minds, scrapping everything except Visconti’s string arrangements on several songs and re-recording the lot with Mitchell Froom, who produced all but one Crowded House album, as well as Tim Finn’s third solo album and worked on Neil’s most recent solo outing, One Nil / One All.

The first single, “Won’t Give In”, is a radio-friendly mid-tempo affair heavy on Neil vocals, and it sets the tone for the album as a whole – hopeful, wistful, and concerned (not unlike the aforementioned Neil solo outing) with matters of home, hearth and heart. It’s catchy – but ultimately eclipsed by several other songs on the album when the whole thing is listened to in one sitting.

“Nothing Wrong With You” sports some of the best brotherly harmonies on the whole CD and a lush orchestral backing for what is, on the surface, a rather folky little number. “Anything Can Happen” is more of a thumping rocker, while “Luckiest Man Alive” comes closest to the loosely-arranged charms of the original Finn Brothers album – the harmony’s still there, but everything’s much looser, more like an off-the-cuff jam than the rest of the album.

If there’s anything that caught me off guard with Everyone Is Here, it’s that a number of the songs reminded me less of Crowded House and more of Split Enz. It seems to be primarily the songs driven by Tim Finn that do this, and “Homesick” may well be the Enziest song on the album, with the strings and vocals in the chorus strongly echoing the Judd-era Enz chestnut “Spellbound” – for all I know, with the song’s theme of returning home, Tim may have deliberately steered the song in that direction as a thematic element of coming full circle. It’s a great song on its own, with some dreamy harmonies in the chorus and soaring orchestral elements contrasting a series of raw and raucous verses.

“Disembodied Voices”, apparently the sole survivor of the original New York recording sessions with Tony Visconti, is a soft-pedaled folksy affair with mandolin and banjo – the latter played by Neil, an ability I’m not aware that he’d demonstrated before now. It’s an interesting little song, nicely produced, and leaves me wondering what happened that sent the Finns scrambling back to the safety net of Mitchell Froom.

“A Life Between Us” has the confident gait of a 50s rock ballad, and it’s primarily a Neil song – there’s not much evidence of Tim until halfway through the song, when a nice harmonic break reminding me a little of the bridge from the Crowded House song “Everything Is Good For You” brings both voices into play. “A Life Between Us” and “Disembodied Voices” also have slightly unusual lyrics – it’s rare for the Finns to pen lyrics that directly address their brotherly relationship, and even rarer for them to put two songs back-to-back that do that.

“All God’s Children” is a gleeful, distorted-guitar romp with another increasingly rare phenomenon – some classic throat-thrashing vocals from Tim. The next song is a shock to the system, chasing an unabashed rocker down the ornate ballad “Edible Flowers” (which many of us first heard on the Seven Worlds Collide concert DVD). I’d loved this song since that rather rough live performance hit my ears, and here the song comes into its own with a beautiful orchestral backing and a perfect vocal balance between Tim (in the verses) and Neil (in the absolutely soaring choruses). “Edible Flowers” may well be the best song on this whole album – everything just seems to click on this one.

A couple of Tim-heavy tunes, “All The Colours” and “Part Of Me, Part Of You”, bring back some really unusual chords and writing, and again on some intangible level they conjure up the Enz songwriting ethos in my mind. Part of me is thinking “well, duh, same vocalists, same songwriters, of course it sounds like the Enz,” but I still can’t shake the feeling that these are the Enziest songs that the Finns have turned out in ages. “Part Of Me, Part Of You” also bears a strong resemblance to a classic Crowdies tune – if you listen closely, the chords in the verses are almost the same as those in “Walking On The Spot”, only going much faster! That song also has a lyric – “we’ll still be here / when the cows come home” – which got a laugh out of me. I suppose it could be seen as trite, but compared the usual lyrical sophistication we get out of the Finns, it’s got shock value with a touch of humor.

4 out of 4Tim and Neil both have a habit of ending albums on a slow but hopeful note (well, okay, maybe “Kiss The Road Of Rarotonga” doesn’t really bear that pattern out), and they do so again here with “Gentle Hum”, a song with a Neil lead vocal and a mostly hummed chorus. This song also has electronic percussion that, while it doesn’t really stick out enough to distract from the other instrumentation, seems slightly at odds with the rest of the song’s stripped-down, folky sound. That’s really venturing into nitpicking territory though – it’s a fine song, and a great one to go out on.

Order this CD

  1. Won’t Give In (4:21)
  2. Nothing Wrong With You (4:12)
  3. Anything Can Happen (3:05)
  4. Luckiest Man Alive (4:00)
  5. Homesick (3:50)
  6. Disembodied Voices (3:42)
  7. A Life Between Us (3:55)
  8. All God’s Children (3:49)
  9. Edible Flowers (4:53)
  10. All The Colours (2:13)
  11. Part Of Me, Part Of You (3:31)
  12. Gentle Hum (4:38)

Released by: Nettwerx (North America) / Parlophone (everywhere else)
Release date: 2004
Total running time: 46:14

Fleetwood Mac – Behind The Mask

Fleetwood Mac - Behind The MaskIt’s official – there’s something Bill Clinton did that I may not be able to forgive him for. He brought Fleetwood Mac back together.

As I write this, I’m way, way behind on writing music reviews. Fleetwood Mac’s Behind The Mask is an album I bought when it first came out, and it’s taken me this long to get around to weighing in on it, even though at the time I liked it quite a bit – always have. What’s bad about that lag, though, is that Fleetwood Mac has since morphed back into something resembling the lineup from its 70s/80s heyday…and yet something less than it once was. And I’m having to fight down the urge to talk about that and bring that comparison up.

Behind The Mask was a transitional album into a new Fleetwood Mac era. Lindsey Buckingham, who had been the most demanding of the creative pistons firing in the Mac’s engine, had left the group behind after 1987’s Tango In The Night (and a guest stint on a new single for the 1988 Greatest Hits album), but this didn’t doom the group as much as I remember thinking it would. Say what you will about it taking two players to fill Buckingham’s shoes on stage and in the studio, the remaining members had already auditioned replacements for the all-important position of guitarist, and wound up with not one, but two, promising candidates: Billy Burnette and Rick Vito. Not only did both men have an excellent pedigree as steadily-employed, in-demand studio guitarists, they brought their own not-inconsiderable songwriting skills to the table.

And in an amusing demonstration of the question of band identity and how much of that identity lies with the guy in the mixing booth, producer Greg Landanyi made sure that this Fleetwood Mac didn’t sound drastically different from the last Fleetwood Mac that had walked into a recording studio. Buckingham even returned again to lay down acoustic guitar tracks on one song. (Another interesting guest musician credit I noticed on Behind The Mask is Steve Croes; credited here with Synclavier, Croes is a frequent collaborator and session player for Star Trek composer Jay Chattaway.) But in the end, the band’s sound hasn’t shifted a million miles away from where it was. For all of my thinking, in the aftermath of Tango, that Buckingham was going to take the sound with him, in retrospect Behind The Mask sounds more like Fleetwood Mac than, say, Out Of The Cradle does.

“Skies The Limit”, the well-chosen lead single “Save Me”, and the lovely duet ballad “Do You Know” demonstrate what Fleetwood Mac still had then that it doesn’t have now: Christine McVie. Her divine vocals, just-right keyboard and piano work and her songwriting…there was a time when I didn’t really rate her as a major factor in the band’s sound. I’ve since come to realize how badly I can misjudge things sometimes. Christine McVie keeps the ship afloat on this album. And “Do You Know” was a collaboration with Burnette, which shows that the new recruits more than earned their slots in the band. “Save Me” couldn’t have been better chosen as the first song to hit radio, as it has a vibe reminiscent of some of McVie’s best singles in the past; it’s a close conceptual cousin of Tango‘s “Isn’t It Midnight” and “Little Lies”.

I’m still not that partial to Stevie Nicks’ songs here. Considering how much I grew to like her input on Say You Will (and that’s a big turnaround for me), I went back to this album determined to listen with an open mind…somehow her songs just don’t do it for me here. “When The Sun Goes Down”, a Vito/Burnette collaboration, demonstrates why these guys got the job – they’ve got the bluesy-electric-rock thing down, and this song doesn’t sound too far off from some of Lindsey Buckingham’s early numbers soon after joining the band. This isn’t to say that Vito and Burnette appropriated their predecessor’s style, but that they’re steeped in the same background. The two together were a really were a canny choice to fill his shoes.

Overall, I find myself looking back on Behind The Mask with fondness. Okay, even some of Nicks’ stuff, I admit it – I just have to be in a rare Stevie Nicks mood for it to hit me right. This could have been – though I’ll leave it to you out there to decide for yourselves whether or not it should have been – the Fleetwood Mac that stayed together into the new millennium. Where the tortured-perfectionist-artist / ex-lover dynamic may have produced some dynamite songs at one time, and I’m not denying that it did (though I grimaced to watch them hash it out again and again in a recent special about the making of Say You 3 out of 4Will), I’m not sure bringing back the Buckingham/Nicks chemisty was right for the band. In time, this lineup could’ve been incredible. Behind The Mask shows that it was already very promising.

Thank you for once again reading my review of Say You Will.

Order this CD

  1. Skies The Limit (3:45)
  2. Love Is Dangerous (3:18)
  3. In The Back Of My Mind (7:03)
  4. Do You Know (4:19)
  5. Save Me (4:16)
  6. Affairs Of The Heart (4:22)
  7. When The Sun Goes Down (3:18)
  8. Behind The Mask (4:18)
  9. Stand On The Rock (4:00)
  10. Hard Feelings (4:54)
  11. Freedom (4:13)
  12. When It Comes To Love (4:09)
  13. The Second Time (2:31)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 1990
Total running time: 54:26

Fleetwood Mac – Tusk

Fleetwood Mac - TuskEveryone who releases an album does so because they feel like they’ve packed it with their best material, so naturally they think it’s good. Sometimes the listening (and record-buying) public may not agree – and sometimes the public reaction is more than they expected. That’s the position Fleetwood Mac was in after the release of 1977’s Rumours – the album was a phenomenal success, stayed on the charts forever, and has even gone on to inspire a tribute album not just to the band, but to the songs on Rumours specifically. How does one top that? Ask anyone managing the group or its label, and they’ll fall back on a classic answer: more of the same. More like Rumours, please. Which is exactly what Lindsey Buckingham didn’t want to do.

Granted, Fleetwood Mac is still going to sound like Fleetwood Mac – it’s no exaggeration and also no oversimplification to say that a lot of the success of Rumours was down to some damned good songwriting. Buckingham wanted to punch up how the songs were arranged and produced however, sometimes going for a grand sound and sometimes going for something more simple and raw. While persuading his bandmates to not take the obvious path of repetition, Buckingham had already set about crafting many of his portions of Tusk in his own home studio. While some of the numbers penned by Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie are a little more traditional in terms of the 1970s Fleetwood Mac sound, Buckingham’s songs are offbeat and exciting. And they helped to lay some new foundations for the group’s sound in years to come: the multi-tracked, stereo-panned layers of Mick Fleetwood’s drumming, denser layers of Buckingham’s signature guitar work, and tighter, slicker harmonies then ever before. Tusk is, if nothing else, the dawn of Lindsey Buckingham, the producer.

Not that the songs suffer from the experimentation, mind you. McVie’s “Over And Over” and Stevie Nicks’ “Sara” are highlights of the album (despite the fact that, ever since I first heard it, I’ve always taken points off of “Sara” for one of the tritest lyrics in rock history: “Drowning in the sea of love / where everyone would love to drown”). Stevie Nicks’ slightly country-fried “Storms” is an oft-overlooked favorite of mine, as are Christine McVie’s “Think About Me” and the haunting “Brown Eyes”. Lindsey Buckingham steals the show, however, with such numbers as “Last Call For Everyone”, “The Ledge”, and even “what was he thinking when he did this?” songs like “Tusk” itself, recorded with the USC Trojans Marching Band – it’s an unusual enough song on its own merits, but with all of that brass draped over it, it attains a whole new layer of “what the…?”

Buckingham is just as responsible for some songs that have always struck me as misfires too, though – Tusk wouldn’t have suffered if “Not That Funny” had landed on the proverbial cutting room floor.

3 out of 4I’m not going to try to make any definitive statements as to whether or not Tusk is Fleetwood Mac at their best, but I give the band full marks for struggling mightily to do something more creative than just doing what everyone expected them to do. Rumours II – something that Lindsey Buckingham has always said he didn’t want to do – it ain’t.

Order this CD

  1. Over & Over (4:35)
  2. The Ledge (2:02)
  3. Think About Me (2:44)
  4. Save Me A Place (2:40)
  5. Sara (4:37)
  6. What Makes You Think You’re The One (3:28)
  7. Storms (5:28)
  8. That’s All For Everyone (3:04)
  9. Not That Funny (3:19)
  10. Sisters Of The Moon (4:36)
  11. Angel (4:53)
  12. That’s Enough For Me (1:48)
  13. Brown Eyes (4:27)
  14. Never Make Me Cry (2:14)
  15. I Know I’m Not Wrong (2:59)
  16. Honey Hi (2:43)
  17. Beautiful Child (5:19)
  18. Walk A Thin Line (3:44)
  19. Tusk (3:36)
  20. Never Forget (3:40)

Released by: Warner Bros.
Release date: 1979
Total running time: 72:27