I’m listening to Tusk right now, having just passed “Sara” and am wiping the subsequent tears from my eyes. Man, I think, Stevie Nicks is the most talented song writer out there. The song, a beautiful tribute to loss, hits me every time, I doubt I could ever conjure words so touching and aching to remember something. That’s why I listen and marvel.
The next song, however, is a sharp turn, it’s not a Stevie song, but Nicks is only one-fifth of the band anyway. “What Makes You Think You’re The One” takes on an entirely different vibe, lyrically and musically. The builds and witchy vocals in Nicks’ songs aren’t there, but the same tone is there. The song makes you ache, it’s heart breaking, but in a hard way, not like the soft “Sara” or “Storms.” It’s telling someone they cannot live a life with you–they aren’t “the one.” There’s nothing more devastating than that.
Move forward to “That’s All For Everyone,” one of my favorite (non-Nicks) Fleetwood Mac songs, the quirky marimba mixes with the songs reverb trance vocals, still oddly in the same tone of the rest album, but unlike the previous songs.
Listening to a Fleetwood Mac album is like a soundtrack, especially Tusk, sometimes it doesn’t seem like the same band, but music that fits a mood–that’s why they are my favorite. The amount of musical respect that the band gave to each other when creating this album is as mesmerizing as they’re lyrics or varying guitar solos. Each songwriting musician in the band created music that fit them, it’s not identical sounds varied only by lyrics.
Bands have to do what they think is best to deliver a group concept into an album, but I’ll always look up to Fleetwood Mac for allowing the members to do their own thing as long as it fit the mood and theme of an album. It’s not as present anymore-hell, pop albums with guitar solos aren’t present anymore, but it’s hard for me to name a year 2000+ band that has as much song/style diversity on a single album. It’s safe to say that when done well, it’s incredible.
Tusk ended up failing commercially, but it’s gone down as one of the band’s most experimental albums. Sometimes risks have to be made, and sometimes powerful music comes out of that