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So, a world first for DVD-Audio. The latest from the reformed (mostly) Fleetwood Mac was released simultaneously with the CD release and therefore Say You Will marks not only an important date in DVD-Audios history, but also for Fleetwood Mac fans who probably didn’t think they would see or hear new material from the band that spawned the excellent Rumours.

Say You Will

The Album
Not really knowing what to expect, Say You Will was inserted into the DVD-Audio player and started up. Not being a particular fan of Fleetwood Mac it is hard to compare this album to anything other than Rumours which is the only other Fleetwood Mac album I own, and even that is hard work as the album offers a familiar and yet different sound. Opening with the catchy What’s the World Coming To this album feels, well, like an old but comfy pair of shoes. This track really has strong pop music themes running through it with its upbeat tempo and lack of heavy guitar solos. However delving further into the album reveals a huge 'Mac styled guitar solo on the very next track, Murrow Turning Over In His Grave as well as on many of the following tracks on the album.

Say You Will

It is easy to tell the Stevie Nicks penned tunes when compared to Lindsey Buckingham’s songs. Buckingham’s all have a similar sound and are all of a certain quality where as Nicks’ are a mixture of hit and miss. Even the title track while not a bad song, it does just not include that "je nes sais quoi" which makes an average song, great. Peacekeeper however makes up for this in being a great piece of music. The problem with this album is that while it has many adequate songs and is very much home territory for the band and the fans alike, and even with two or three stand out tracks, it is lacking the plethora of great tracks Rumours had. That said, the album has gone down very well with the fans who seem to be very happy with this latest release and so they should be. Once a band has made a real stand out album everything they make following is compared to it. This must be hard for a band to come to terms with, wondering if they will ever reach the acclaim they once had. However, Say You Will is indeed a passable selection of music. Eighteen tracks make this a large album which is quite unheard of these days which has its good and bad points. While the listener certainly gets their moneys worth, perhaps trimming some of the fat might have made the album a better listening experience?

Audio
The 5.1 mix is also a little hit and miss throughout. The albums first track does not make particularly good use of the rear speakers where as tracks like Miranda, Red Rover and Running Through the Garden make a much better effort at this. Overall the surround sound was better strangely enough on the Rumours DVD-Audio. That’s not to say the sound here is poor – far from it. Again the clarity is excellent and the channel separation is also musically involving for the most however it does feel quite light on the ears as it seems to lack a certain something to ensnare the listener with just a few stand out moments. Listening to the whole album it does seem that What’s the World Coming To is flawed. The rest of the album has a good surround mix, but this track just does not. I’d be inclined to say “authoring problem” to be honest. Apparently the DVD-Audio was all mixed into 5.1 by one man, and I would say he really messed up on that track which is a shame as it’s a good track. That said, the high resolution audio this offers over CD makes it a much better option, especially with the 5.1 being good on other tracks.

Say You Will

Extras
Unfortunately there are no extra features present on this album which means the only real benefit of this disc over the CD is the enhanced audio quality and 5.1 sound mix. Warner have really dropped the ball here as they set such a good standard with their previous DVD-Audio discs including interviews, music videos and documentaries. In this instance it would have been really useful to have a few interviews explaining why the band reformed for this album, with some talk of the inspiration for the tracks present. A real shame and missed opportunity.

Overall
Say You Will does stand up by itself as a bit of light hearted easy listening. Well received by the fans, a fun album with a huge amount of tracks. Overall good sound which is let down only a couple of times, however not including any extra material really is inexcusable these days. I have no idea what age group will be going out looking for this but I suspect that they will be in their thirties as I can’t see the band winning many new fans with this album. That’s not a bad thing though, since they have such a huge fan base already I doubt they’d want to alienate them.


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