February 28, 2021


By Kristi Kates | June 24, 2017

Lindsey Buckingham & Christine McVie – Buckingham/McVie – Atlantic/Rhino
Having lightened up a little as they’ve temporary stepped away from Fleetwood Mac (including a recent stint on Jimmy Fallon to delightfully play songs with classroom instruments), Buckingham and McVie have recorded their first album as a duo, a 10-song set that showcases Buckingham’s meditative, deft guitar work and McVie’s distinctive, subtle vocals. “Carnival Begin” and “Red Sun” are two of the best tracks — the first a McVie showcase; the latter a hook-laden hit in the making. “On with the Show” is another tune to note, but all offer a welcome contrast of sanguinity to the Mac’s more serious tones. Now if they could just fix that awkwardly posed cover. ***

Roger Waters – Is This the Life We Really Want? – Columbia
You might expect that Waters, of Pink Floyd fame, would skew political on his latest solo effort (his first in 25 years), and you would be exactly right. (Or left, depending on how you interpret some of these tracks.) Also par for the course: the fact that this is, for the most part, a concept album, with an ominous lyricism that’s half musings and half rants about the current state of the world in its general disarray, with special emphasis on the military (“Déjà Vu”), American excess (“Broken Bones”), and our not-so-great future prospects and possibilities (the spiky “Smell the Roses.”) It might be too heavy for some, but hey, that’s your prerogative, Bud. ** 1/2

Paul Simon – The Concert in Hyde Park – SMG
Well, it’s not quite The Concert in Central Park, Simon and Garfunkel’s legendary 1982 live album, but Simon, as expected, more than holds his own with this 2012 live London set that spans most of his popular solo hits (“Kodachrome,” “Graceland”) plus a couple of S&G classics, too. The energy is both familiar and lively, as a laid-back Simon careens through his impressive set list. Partway through, the audience gets the added bonus of an appearance from Hugh Masekela and Ladysmith Black Mambazo, who originally appeared on Simon’s Grammy-winning Graceland album. Listening to this one is like putting on comfortable old shoes, and that’s not a bad thing. ***

Dan Fogelberg – Live at Carnegie Hall – Netherlands Records
With an ability to translate some of his instrumental parts to vocals in live performance, and an equal talent for varying the tunes just enough to keep them fresh, Fogelberg’s takes on this set at the famed Carnegie Hall in New York City are both a great capture of his talent and a time capsule for fans (Fogelberg passed away in 2007). The tracks were found in the late Fogelberg’s archives by his wife, Jean, in 2015, and she’s responsible for organizing the whole project and getting the music collected into this new album. You’ll hear the tracks “Old Tennessee,” “Song from Half Mountain,” “Next Time,” and more, all from the concert that is often said to have been one of Fogelberg’s best. ***


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