Say You Will

Say You Will

4.1 15
by Fleetwood Mac

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Like the ever-growing legion of their peers in middle-aged rockdom, Fleetwood Mac can't stay away from the game. But unlike the bulk of the reunion-tour set, they're not merely coasting on fumes, as borne out by this much-anticipated comeback album. The key to Say You Will's success is Lindsey Buckingham, who's more involved…  See more details below


Like the ever-growing legion of their peers in middle-aged rockdom, Fleetwood Mac can't stay away from the game. But unlike the bulk of the reunion-tour set, they're not merely coasting on fumes, as borne out by this much-anticipated comeback album. The key to Say You Will's success is Lindsey Buckingham, who's more involved in the songwriting and production process than he has been in ages. As ever, he manages to swaddle messages both angst-ridden ("Peacekeeper") and bittersweet ("Steal Your Heart Away") in melodies that float like cotton-candy clouds. He's also coaxed ex-partner Stevie Nicks into a couple more rounds of the lovelorn sparring that provided the Mac with some of their biggest hits in the '70s -- here, Buckingham and Nicks imbue duets bearing titles like "Say Goodbye" and "Goodbye Baby" with a sense of finality. Say You Will has its share of leaden moments -- the anti-media screed "Murrow Turning Over in his Grave" crosses the line separating commentary and crotchety whining. Likewise, the presence of the now-retired Christine McVie -- particularly the understated elegance of her keyboard arrangements -- is greatly missed. But when Nicks whirls, pixie-like, through the soft haze of "Silver Girl," the years melt away like frost on an early spring morning.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Lindsey Buckingham hadn't recorded a studio album with Fleetwood Mac in 16 years when Say You Will was released in April 2003. His partner, Stevie Nicks, had been missing in action from the group since 1990, and while both joined the reunited group in 1997 for a tour and live album (The Dance), not to mention Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration, it had been a long, long time since the two made new music for the Mac. They were lured back into the fold for...well, the specifics -- whether money, prestige, status, publicity, or creativity -- don't really matter, since the end result is the same, it's that Buckingham and Nicks have come home. This doesn't qualify as a full-fledged Fleetwood reunion, since Christine McVie isn't here, choosing to opt out of this high-profile return to the breach (although her playing is occasionally heard on the album). This results in a record that never quite sounds like Fleetwood Mac. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are so grateful to have the two superstars back in the group that they cede ground to Buckingham and Nicks, who never collaborate as much as share space. Each singer/songwriter is given nine songs apiece, a move which, in itself, would not necessarily be a problem, but over the course of this lengthy, lengthy album, the evenhandedness starts to give the impression that this is two solo albums presented as a group effort. An assessment that's a little harsh, since the group can still conjure echoes of their classic sound, but the division of work is so deliberate and their work so dissimilar, it can't help but feel like two separate pieces pushed together to make the whole. Which is where Christine McVie becomes a critical factor. While never a star like Nicks, nor possessing the mad genius of Buckingham, McVie was a strong, likeable songwriter whose gently melodic works balanced the extremities of her bandmates while also forcing them to choose the best material to fit the record. Add to this that Fleetwood Mac have decided to run wild with the length of a CD, producing a record that is significantly longer than the messy, chaotic Tusk, but without its inspired insanity or depth of sound and character. Here, even if most songs are in the four-minute ballpark, they all feel longer, partially because the album clocks in at nearly 80 minutes and the sequencing flows as it was designed by committee. So, Say You Will winds up occupying a strange middle ground, often feeling as if it was Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks' albums bouncing around on shuffle play, but also occasionally flashing moments that are purely, satisfyingly Fleetwood Mac. Although there are occasional misguided attempts to modernize the songs -- most notably drum loops on some of Nicks' songs -- none of the songs sound as if the band were forcing themselves to sound contemporary. Sure, it sounds commercial, but that's the band's idiom -- what's important is that it never sounds compromised, it sounds as if the band is at once trying too hard while being unwilling to sacrifice individual moments for the greater good. So, Say You Will straddles many lines at once. Nicks' material is better-realized than many of her recent albums, but Buckingham's always sounds as if it should be wilder than it is (it should all sound as unrestrained as his guitar, which is continually surprising throughout the record). It never sounds like classic Fleetwood Mac, nor does it sound modern. It often sounds like solo albums, but without the freedom that allows. Most of these problems derive merely from the length. Cut out half of the record -- have it weigh in at nine or ten songs and run no longer than 45 minutes -- and it would have been a good, solid comeback, perhaps even eclipsing the uneven Tango in the Night. But there are too many songs, simply too much to make Say You Will work, even if there is enough to admire to make you wish it did.
Entertainment Weekly - Alan Light
When the parts come together... Say You Will soars like the Mac of old. (B)

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Product Details

Release Date:
Reprise / Wea


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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fleetwood Mac   Primary Artist
Peter Green   Indexed Contributor
Lindsey Buckingham   Guitar,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Stevie Nicks   Keyboards,Vocals
Mick Fleetwood   Percussion,Drums
Christine McVie   Track Performer
John McVie   Bass
Sheryl Crow   Track Performer
Jamie Muhoberac   Track Performer
John Pierce   Track Performer
John Shanks   Track Performer

Technical Credits

Lindsey Buckingham   Producer,Engineer
Ken Allardyce   Engineer
Ken Koroshetz   Engineer
Mark Needham   Engineer
Stephen Walker   Art Direction
Rob Cavallo   Producer
John Shanks   Producer
Bruce Jacoby   Band Technician
Mike Fasano   Band Technician

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Say You Will 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
wow I could not wait for this cd, boy what a shocker, be sure to buy the limited cd with the extra track, NOT MAKE BELIEVE,it is one of few good songs, I kinda liked THROWN DOWN and GOODBYE BABY, being a huge steve fan and have every thing fleetwood mac ever made, please let me know what other think
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a definite return to the Fleetwood Mac of the 70's. While I do miss Christine McVie, Stevie Nicks & Lindsay Buckingham still have that wonderful chemistry.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In this new album, Lindsey seems to have lost his touch in a much of his singing and writing. It feels like he's trying too hard to sound as cool as he use to to. However, Stevie hasn't lost her touch at all. Though she did go off into her own world a bit in some of her contributions, that's always exspected and welcome. I believe they should have cut down the tracks issued by half. That still would have been a full-length album and you wouldn't have to interrupt the good songs with others that aren't nearly as good or listenable. I'd get it for Stevie's work and a few good Lindsey songs. But only a few. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
For those of you who grew up with THREE Dog Night, now touring with the same name, but sadly the reality is a TWO Dog Night, well...that's what this album is about, mostly. Now Christine does appear on the CD (but you are not told exactly where), and it is otherwise delightful album. I do miss new songs by the former Mrs. McVie, and especially her on lead vocals. So as long as you do NOT compare SAY YOU WILL to any "classic line-up" F-Mac albums, YOU WILL enjoy it. One note, the vocals have so much studio "English" on them, that at times it's hard to tell WHO is singing anyway! Stevie is nearly a bass singer these days, and Mr. Buckingham has lost a little high register. Bottom Line: love it for what it is (and I do), but don't expect anything like F-Mac's greatest efforts (or hits).
Guest More than 1 year ago
OK, Christine is gone and I miss her. Now that I've dealt with that, I realize that I have a great new Fleetwood Mac album where every track is fantastic. It is not like a Stevie Nicks solo album, because (as always was the case) Stevie never shines brighter than when Lindsey is behind her. "Thrown Down" can make that case, as did "Gypsy". It is not a Lindsey Buckingham solo album, because there we have Stevie singing backup with her wonderfully raspy voice. I've listened all the way through about ten times so far, and I think of it as Tusk II, only less chaotic. It's definitely worth getting to know!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Say You Will is an awesome CD. It's also a tribute to Stevie and Lindsey's incredible talents and abilities as singers, songwriters and musicians. Say You Will is a tribute to coming full circle. FM's popularity shot through the roof when Stevie and Lindsey joined the band and now Say You Will is a return to those days. This album is awesome for Stevie's songwriting and singing talent and for Lindsey's incredibly inventive and experimental musical approach. Combined, Stevie and Lindsey's talents result in 18 expertly crafted songs. I think Say You Will is the best FM album for many reasons. This album is a testiment to the fact that Stevie and Lindsey haven't gotten stuck in the past. They have evolved gracefully and they have changed. Say You Will IS NOT Rumours and I say thank God for that. Rumours was great, but that was 25 years ago. I've read so many reviews of this CD already and I'm quite shocked that anyone could dislike it. Many don't like the fact that Christine isn't present. Many say "it's not Rumours", while others say "it's not what I expected". I didn't expect anything. As an artist myself, I know how important it is to grow and change. I had no expectations because I wouldn't know where to begin to come up with expectations. Say You Will surprises me in it's richness and it's depth. It surprises and pleases me with its anti-war statements and social commentary. It surprises me with the clarity of Stevie's voice. It surprises me by proving once again that Lindsey really does know how to produce Stevie's songs. All of Stevie's songs are excellent. I'm sitting here trying to decide how I would rank her songs on this CD and the honest answer is that they are all great. "Everybody Finds Out" is noteworthy for its emotion and anger and for its instrumental arrangement which shows a sophistication not usually found in FM songs. "Goodbye Baby" is all about Stevie's incredible voice, as is "Silver Girl". "Destiny Rules", "Thrown Down" and "Say You Will" all have infectuous melodies and lyrics. "Running Through the Garden" is a great rock song. "Smile at You" is a song known to many Stevie fans because it's been circulating as a bootleg. It is so good to hear a production version of the song that is all polished. And "Illume"...what can I say. This is a beautifully crafted song about the raw emotion of being trapped in NYC during the events of 9-11. Stevie is a talented storyteller! Lindsey opens Say You Will with "What's the World Coming To?". From the first few drum beats, I could tell the Mac was back. The social commentary of this song along with "Ed Murrow Turning Over In His Grave" and "Peacekeeper" are truly timely with the war in Iraq and the news coverage of the war. "Miranda" and "Come" are great examples of Lindsey's talent. I have to admit I'm not sure what "Red Rover" is all about but I'll assume it is political with it's references to red, white and blue. "Steal Your Heart Away" and "Bleed to Love Her" are both wonderful love songs. The bonus live tracks are great for the simple fact that as much as I like Lindsey's production of this album, I happen to believe that the sign of a great group is their live performances and FM has always been great. So, in closing...there is no such thing as too much Lindsey or too much Stevie. FM has changed and evolved over time and have proven just one more time that this is not a test...this is real. Rumours was not a fluke...because FM has done it again. Say You Will is every bit as great as Rumours...only different.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is not Fleetwood Mac's best work, admittedly, but it's certainly not too shabby. Lindsey Buckingham delivers the goods with 9 excellent songs imbued with the magical touch that his production skills bring. The guitar-frenzied "Murrow", "Come" and "Miranda" harken back to such classics as "I'm So Afraid" and "Tango In The Night", while "Say Goodbye" and "Steal Your Heart Away" show a much gentler side to his song writing. And if you've ever wanted to hear Buckingham at his most off-the wall, then listen to the insane guitar picking of "Red Rover". Stevie Nicks doesn't coast here either, whether it be in the form of her standard witchy, lovelorn ballads("Destiny Rules", "Thrown Down") or retro-style rockers with vocals that bring back fond memories of Miss Nicks at her most possessed("Running Through The Garden", Everybody Finds Out"). Still, for all it's merits, the album screams for the presence of the now-retired Christine Mcvie, who's pop sensebilities acted as a counterbalance for the dramatics of Buckingham and Nicks. At 76 minutes, the album could have easily been cut down with the removal of some of the weaker tracks like "Silver Girl" and the already released "Bleed To Love Her". If you're looking for the Fleetwood Mac of yesteryear, you've come to the wrong place: this is a very different animal; and that's not neccessarily a bad thing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well, I miss McVie like most of you do, but it's great to hear Stevie Nicks voice sounding better than in years. The album is too long but I must say, that Peacekeeper and Say you will are the best I've heard from Mac since Sara. But for the "real" Fleetwood Mac sound, please someone CALL CHRISTINE!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Like "Tusk" I find myself skipping over a good many songs on "Say You Will".I don't know just why. While I find Lindsey's work breathtaking, somehow it's hard listening to cuts like "Come, Red Rover & Say Goodbye" over and over. Mixed in with other non-Mac songs they sound great. Perhaps there's just to much on this album and/or perhaps it's to "solo"-ish. While Stevie's songs are very strong, songs like "Illume, Silver Girl and Destiny Rules" sound flat and forgettable to me. "Everybody Finds Out" sounds completely out of place here (from "Rock-a-Little"?). Put these songs on solo projects where they belong and "Say You Will" becomes a wonderful album. Also, the song line up on this cd is AWFUL! I like starting with Miranda, Goodbye Baby, Thrown Down, Murrow Turning..., What's the World Coming To- as starters (to each his own), but not the current line-up. Anyways, you asked! My favorites are the following GEMS; "What's the World coming to"-ear candy, "Goodbye Baby"- at Stevie's heart-tugging best, "Steal Your Heart Away" -Lindsey gorgeuosly romantic. "Miranda" & "Peacekeeper"- Instant classic Mac, "Thrown Down" & "Smile At You" -these Stevie songs keep growing with repeated listens (strong stuff, lot's of heart). While Stevie's "Say You Will" is toooo sweet for endless helpings, her "Running Through the Garden" and Lindsey's "Come" show them at their Manic best. Rock On! Sara I miss you.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was very excited when I heard that Fleetwood Mac was getting back together but this album surpaseed my expectations.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A great return from Mac, even if Christine is absent. This music cannot be pigeon-holed. Ther are subtle nods to the past, with most tracks screaming towards the future. Lidsey's guitar work is extrordinary, from the intricately woven ballads to the nuclear "Come". You gotta have this disk if you like Mac.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I heard FM was coming out with a new album, I was skeptical. Needn't have been. This new offering is well up to past FM standards. In fact, Thrown Down is as good a song as this fine band has ever produced. It's tightly constructed and sweeps along with inexorable musical logic. The lead guitar line is clean and simple; the bass line, subtle and powerful; the drumming, impeccable; and then there is The Voice. Nicks' voice seems to get richer and more securely inimitable with age. Another track worthy of mention is Destiny Rules, which has some very clever lyrics by Nicks. One gripe: Buckingham, for all his genius, is far too enamored of electronic gimmickry, which here tends to have a mushy, levelling-down effect on the performances.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Many people have not given this album enough credit because it does not have the "classic" Fleetwood Mac sound (read: because the lovely Christine McVie is no longer in the band.) While her presence is missed, her absence does nothing to hurt the music. This album cannot be compared to other albums of the "Rumours" era, because it is simply a different animal. The two who have always been the stars of this band, Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham, once again take center stage by sharing the load of 9 songs a piece. I agree with an earlier reviewer that 2 songs-- "Silver Girl" and "Bleed to Love Her" (already released on the Dance) could have been removed without changing the feel of the album. To love this album is to love Buckingham & Nicks, to love what they have always been about. They are one of the most talented singer-songwriter duos in the history of rock and roll and do not dissapoint on this album. Lindsey's esoteric side takes center stage on "Come," "Murrow," and "Red Rover," while his pop sensibilities shine through on "What's the World Coming To," "Peacekeeper," and the gorgeous "Steal Your Heart Away." The man is a genius. Stevie continues to write heartfelt songs directed at her nearly 40-year relationship with Lindsey, including "Thrown Down" (written during the time of "The Dance" in 1997-98), "Say You Will," "Destiny Rules," and the wildly romantic "Everybody Finds Out," (which is dying to be made into a club remix). She also contributes the haunting "Illume," inspired by her presence in NYC on September 11, 2001. "Say Goodbye" (Lindsey) and "Goodbye Baby" (Stevie) close the album, both songs written decades ago that seem to fit well as album closers. Both of these songs made it into their highly successful 2003 tour (that will be returning to the US in the summer 2004- check it out if you haven't already) and both are enough to pull at your heartstrings. Is the magic still there without Christine? Yes. I'd venture to say that this album is the most "magical" and without a doubt the most romantic album they've ever made. The dream is still alive. Any Fleetwood Mac fan will not be dissapointed with this album.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This 2003 album is the coolest. These songs sound wonderful. Except the Illume and Thrown Down. Illume really reminded me of the attacks of 9-11-01. That was an awful tragedy. I'm sure Stevie would've also sang for the late 2004 Tsunami that happened in Asia and the Fall 2005 Hurricane Katrina that started in Louisiana. Thrown Down really reminded me of my break-up with my ex-boyfriend a long time ago and he found someone new. Maybe Stevie found out about us somehow. Anyways I still enjoy listening to the rest of the songs and I'll keep on listening. Way to Stevie and Lindsey! If Stevie wrote Thrown Down for me and my ex I wouldn't be embarrased, I'll be very glad that she did.