Showing posts with label fleetwood mac. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fleetwood mac. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2013

album review: 'golden' by lady antebellum

A few days ago when I walking home, I flipped up Rumours, the classic 1976 Fleetwood Mac album. Completely unsurprisingly, the music held up and I enjoyed a few very solid moments walking in the sunset listening to several of the classic songs from that album that haven't aged in the slightest. It was a great moment, and one I definitely cherished.

But then I started thinking why Fleetwood Mac's music seems so timeless, at least off of Rumours. Why does that album remain so goddamn solid nearly forty years later, a pop rock album that still feels as relevant and poignant as the best music released today? Why, in short, does Rumours work?

Well, it became fairly clear as I continued listening. The songs are rooted in catchy, memorable melodies that stick in the mind, the performances are solid across the board, and most importantly, very few of the musical 'quirks' that can make 70s pop seem dated are here. Instead, the album seems grounded in simplicity, sticking to the elements that made Fleetwood Mac attractive to a mass audience. And by rooting the album in the tumultuous and complicated internal conflicts of the bandmates, the album gains a surprising emotional resonance that carries their best songs. Rumours feels, for lack of a better word, real, in that it both came from sincere emotional responses and is rooted in genuine feelings that the songwriters had.

And really, the more I listen to music, the more I've come to cherish sincerity and the acts that rely upon it. Eminem, Ke$ha, Meat Loaf, early Avril Lavigne, Nick Cave, these are all acts I love because the emotions powering their music are genuine and came from a real place. Sure, the sincerity can be awkward or uncomfortable at points, but it adds a fresh paint of reality to their music that you can't really fake. Hell, on that note, though I think the man has made serious missteps, I'll still defend Kanye West in this regard. On the other hand, that's why late-period Taylor Swift and Chris Brown piss me off so much - it's so obvious their music is hollow and lacks poignancy, and Taylor Swift's case, where real emotion was hurled aside in favour of plastic artifice. Sure, some of the original appearance might be there, but there's no soul left in this music.

But let's pose an interesting question: what happens if you do perform with sincerity and maybe even some emotion, but the topics you choose to talk about don't entirely fit well with that sort of delivery, or the instrumentation or lyrics doesn't back you up? Or what if the ideas you want to talk about just can't support that emotion?

Well, in that case, you run smack into the band we're going to talk about today, Lady Antebellum - or, as I like to say, the band that really, really wants to be Fleetwood Mac.