Say You Will is actually
a "reunion" album for Fleetwood Mac, 15 years after their last
release. Over the course of Fleetwood Mac's more than 30-year history since its
origins in 1967, the band members shifted, with various members joining and later
leaving the group. Say You Will features four of Fleetwood Mac's
long-time members: Mick Fleetwood and John McVie (two of the founding members),
Stevie Nicks and Lindsay Buckingham. So for dedicated fans of the group,
there's a lot of history behind this release; for me, however, I came to Say
You Will without preconceptions, since I knew of Fleetwood Mac but had only
casually run across their songs.
The general feel of the album
is what I'd call "folk rock," and reminded me of a Sheryl Crow or a
slightly "harder" version of the 10,000 Maniacs: similar handling of
guitar and percussion, but edgier vocals. (Since I like both Sheryl Crow and
the 10,000 Maniacs, this is a positive comparison, I might add.) In fact,
Sheryl Crow contributed to the album with guitar work on "Say You
Will" and backup vocals on "Silver Girl." The well-crafted
Illume is subtitled "9-11" but manages to be a thoughtful exploration
of loss and longing, without going for the cheap manipulation of specific
references to the World Trade Center bombing. Particular standouts were
"Miranda," "Running Through the Garden," and
"Everybody Finds Out," but on the whole it's hard to pick out
specific highlights, since they're all quite solid. The only one that I really
didn't care for was "What's the World Coming to," which is ironically
the opening song in the album.
The lead vocals on the songs
shift between Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, which gives a pleasing
variation in the album's sound. All in all, I found the album to be very enjoyable,
with a coherent sound for the whole album, yet with individual songs also being
distinctive; the music has enough substance to it that it's an album that will
most likely see a lot of repeat play.
The menu interface is very
clean and easy to use. An opening screen gives the options to play the DVD,
view the play list, or select audio options. Once the music is playing, a
static black-and-white image of the band is presented on the screen, with the
title of the song superimposed; there's a different image for each song.
Say You Will is a
lengthy album, with 18 songs included on the disc. The complete play list is as
follows: What's the World Coming to, Murrow Turning Over in His Grave, Illume
(9-11), Thrown Down, Miranda, Red Rover, Say You Will, Peacekeeper, Come, Smile
at You, Running Through the Garden, Silver Girl, Steal Your Heart Away, Bleed
to Love Her, Everybody Finds Out, Destiny Rules, Say Goodbye, and Goodbye Baby.
Both a Dolby 5.1 track and a
Dolby 2.0 track are included on the DVD, but in practice they sound about the
same. The 5.1 track does have more use of surround sound, but it's not as
effective as it could be. Rather than having a balanced spread of the whole
score, the main focus of the songs is usually the center channel, with the side
and rear channels used mainly for percussion and the occasional
"special" effect; the result is that the immersive effect is
hit-and-miss. Sound clarity is good, in both tracks, but there's not quite the
depth and richness that could have been there.
No special features are
included on the DVD. A booklet is included inside the case which supplies
lyrics for each of the songs.
Say You Will makes a
satisfying addition to the music collection of any listener who has a taste for
"folk" style rock, with well-handled guitar and drum sections backing
up strong, distinctive vocals. It's recommended.