Fleetwood Mac, Behind the Mask
Highly polished but less memorable
The only Fleetwood Mac album to feature Stevie Nicks without Lindsey Buckingham, 1990′s Behind the Mask, starts with unreasonable optimism, and goes downhill from there. Christine McVie singing “The sky is the limit now/ We could hit it on the nail” in the absence of the member most responsible for their studio magic is patently delusional, even if opening track “Skies the Limit” provides one of two musical highlights. Rolling Stone‘s claim that “the addition of Rick Vito and Billy Burnette is the best thing to ever happen to Fleetwood Mac” is similarly absurd. Guitarists Vito (a Bob Seger sideman) and Burnette (a country singer-songwriter) steer the Mac into unflattering heartland rock territory: The feisty pop of “Save Me” – the other worthy cut written by McVie and her then-husband, “Little Lies” co-author Eddy Quintela – is undercut by a double dose of Vito’s wank-y soloing. The rest is also highly polished, but far less memorable, a combo that yields an even worse outcome on the band’s next album, 1995′s Time.