CRUISING TO ‘TINY DANCER’ ON THE L.A. STREETS
Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie “Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie” (Atlantic)
The highly anticipated first duet album between the two Fleetwood Mac members will surely fire the synapses of anyone who’s ever lit a Bic at an arena show — but it’s so much more than that.
Recorded at the Village Studios in West Los Angeles, the 10 songs were penned by the writers of such classics as “Don’t Stop,” “Go Your Own Way,” “Hold Me” and “Tusk,” and there’s not a wasted minute on the album. Add in a rhythm section powered by fellow Fleetwood Mac members Mick Fleetwood and John McVie, and the result is a special kind of bliss.
Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, the album finds a pair of consistently evocative artists in full control of their powers.
Need a lovely McVie ballad? Certainly. Called “Game of Pretend,” the song soars on the wings of a piano melody and McVie’s unwavering voice. Aching for uptempo Buckingham jams? “Lay Down for Free,” “Red Sun” and album opener “Around the Corner” will certainly tickle your fancy.
Most important, though, the record’s impeccable production and typically Buckingham-ian sonic flourishes dot each moment with subtle adventure. Always an explorer, the longtime Mac guitarist makes no secret of his left-field preferences, and he shows little interest in restraining his muse. For her part, McVie embraces such experimentation without hesitation.
And what of Stevie Nicks,
Imaad Wasif “Dzi” (Grey Market)
The mercurial guitarist is best known for his work with the Folk Implosion and before that, the indie-punk band Lowercase. But that was a long time ago, and since then Wasif has become a solo artist, collaborator in projects, including Acid and EFG, and a secret-weapon songwriter-instrumentalist who has worked with Swedish songwriter Lykke Li and New York post-punk singer Karen O.
His third solo album, “Dzi” (out Friday), is his first since 2009, and it revels in rock distortion that suggests the fuzzy work of desert rock band Kyuss and post-hardcore band the Melvins. Hardened melodies recall Boston hard rock band Dinosaur Jr., and imbue “Carry the Star” with a heavy density that’s pocketed with just enough space to breathe.
Elton John “Tiny Dancer” music video (Vevo)
The lovely new video for the classic 1971 song that John wrote with longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin documents interactions from the perspectives of a dozen people moving around Los Angeles.
As with life itself, music is the glue that holds the many narratives together. Who hasn’t tuned into Jack-FM (93.1) or the Sound (100.3 FM) while rolling down the Hollywood Freeway and had their world joyously upended by “Tiny Dancer”? The protagonists of the new video, which is directed by Max Weiland, certainly have.
The scene opens on PCH as a car radio weatherman makes his forecast. We see someone else tune into the station near Griffith Park, followed by others in what look to be Pasadena and along Hollywood Boulevard. The song seeps out of the stereo driven by three teenage girls in a convertible, out of an LAPD car, as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator eats fast food.
Those cruises and random interactions move across the next six minutes, with “Tiny Dancer” scoring such instances as an elderly woman smoking a vape pipe, a widow carrying an urn and a parked car filled with stoners and marijuana smoke. A valet revs a Corvette and, upon hearing the song, heads out on the town. The song seems to be everywhere. Unsettled movement reigns through the verses. But order arrives each time John moves into the chorus where, with a big gust of joy, the people sing in unison.
“Hold me closer tiny dancer,” sings John, serenading souls who seem to have little choice but to respond in kind. “Lay me down in sheets of linen/ You had a busy day today.”
THE FIRST duet album for Christine McVie and Lindsey Buckingham is an impeccable adventure.