Fleetwood Mac
Tusk


3.5
great

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
January 24th, 2007 | 14 replies


Release Date: 1979 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The follow-up to Rumours confused many people, but with the benefit of hindsight, it makes perfect sense.

As a follow-up to Rumours, this is an odd one, yet somehow, it makes perfect sense. Rumours, of course, was a band, and two relationships, splintering before our eyes in a bloody mess of infidelity, mistrust, drugs, and anger. Tusk follows on well because it's the sound of the various members of Fleetwood Mac coming to terms with what's happened. It's an album that's resigned, unhappy yet defiant.

The moments that do really stand out are Buckingham's. "The Ledge" and "What Makes You Think You're The One" are possibly the two best examples (along with "Second Hand News") of just what he does best - playing the unhinged, unstable victim without sacrificing pop hooks or disturbing the overall soft-rock sound. When Buckingham signs on his 2006 solo album that he 'read a review/said I was a visionary/but nobody knew', these are the kinds of songs you're reminded of. Of course, he'd wrested almost complete control of the band by this point, and the rest of the album displays his mark - there are little touches of off-centre subversion everywhere. Some of them don't reveal themselves truly until the 3rd or 4th listen, but even when you haven't foregrounded them they make a difference. Some hated Buckingham for doing this, but without his touch and his control this album could well have failed.

Stevie Nicks dominates the album in her own way, though, and she defines the overall mood despite having only 5 songs. Her songs are those resigned, lovely moments that truly captures the emotion of the aftermath of a failed relationship - you're moving on, but part of you doesn't want to because of just what you're leaving behind. "Storms", "Beautiful Child", and even "Sara", the song of her abortion, are all touching, dreamy, elegaic songs that maintain a fine balance between being emotional and distant. Look at how the latter barely touches upon Stevie's feelings, instead asking of Sara 'when you build your house, call me home'. Only in the payoff line - 'all I ever wanted/was to know that you were dreaming' - does Stevie reflect on herself, rather than the events. It does, in truth, get a little samey, but when you get into the mood, it's also perfect.

Nothing here stands up to anything on Rumours, but that doesn't matter so much. It's a different kind of record, and in any case, very few albums have songs as good as "Dreams" and "The Chain". Still, this album's flaw is that none of the songs here are truly great. "What Makes You Think You're The One", "Sara", "Tusk", and Christie McVie's "Over And Over" both come very close, but an album of this length and vision needs truly great songs to keep itself afloat. Look at all the songs on, say, Songs In The Key Of Life, or Sign O' The Times, or Physical Graffiti. Obvious double albums one and all, but they're famous because they've got songs like "Black Man", "As", "If I Was Ur Girlfriend", "I Could Never Take The Place Of Your Man", "Kashmir", and so on. Tusk, for all its strengths, doesn't have songs of that quality. Still, unlike a lot of double albums, nothing here sounds like filler, and it's relatively easy to get through at least 3 sides of this in one sitting, unlike notorious failures in the field. Perhaps one just for fans of post-Peter Green Fleetwood Mac, but this fan enjoys this album quite a bit.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
wakeupdead
January 24th 2007


2208 Comments


Good review! I would've liked to read a little more of what the album sounded like though. ;)

The Jungler
January 24th 2007


4827 Comments


Yeah, you may have been able to describe the sound a bit more, but it was really great review.
Is this an original, or from S/LS?

Patrick
January 24th 2007


1891 Comments


Great review, much better than mine. I really like this album and I think it's pretty underrated, because it followed up to Rumours, so generally, most people hated it. It seems to have grown on me a ton. I also believe that most of Stevie Nicks's best work is here, since she wasn't limited to 3 or 4 songs. Sisters of the moon is one of the finest tracks she's sung on. Once again, great review, I'll vote.

Iai
Emeritus
January 24th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I just wrote this one today.

MrKite
January 24th 2007


5020 Comments


Nice review, man.

Was Landslide an FM song or Stevie Nicks?

Iai
Emeritus
January 24th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Isn't "Landslide" on Tango In The Night?

Edit; No, it's on the Fleetwood Mac self-titled. I was singing the word 'landslide' to the tune of "Little Lies". :-/This Message Edited On 01.24.07

joshuatree
Emeritus
August 20th 2007


3742 Comments


i love this album, and that was a good review.

rocker23472654812314
January 31st 2011


66 Comments


great album

Parallels
March 12th 2012


6641 Comments


Fleetwood Mac's most under-appreciated album for sure.

dylantheairplane
December 25th 2012


2170 Comments


Sisters of the Moon is one of the best stevie songs

Rtcalhoun
December 29th 2012


2 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Rhiannon is one of the awesomest songs I have ever heard, along with Landslide!


DeadToPain
January 29th 2013


694 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

"Sisters of the Moon" is absolutely fantastic. Probably my favorite Nicks' moment ever. I have a lot of them of her. She's my old lady crush. I'd still do her.

Parallels
December 9th 2013


6641 Comments


the ultimate crack cocaine album


PorcelainRain
January 15th 2014


537 Comments


Been on a huge Fleetwood Mac and Stevie binge lately. This album I'm not sure if I've heard, but I'm going to check it out today or tomorrow.



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