February 5, 2023

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Kristin McPhee’s 12 Essential Songs

Kristin McPhee's 12 Essential Songs

Here’s McVie, as songwriter Lindsey Buckingham doing her best, rising to her bandmate’s challenge by putting a slick edge on the band’s sprawling double album Tusk in 1979. Buckingham and McVie have always had a special musical connection, and a bit of a Mac’s songs capture it better than this: their vocals sound particularly simple on the chorus notes, and McVie’s powerful electric piano provides an apt complement to Buckingham’s fiery riffs.

Here’s McPhee doing her best Christine McPhee. An understated and appreciated gem buried on the C-side of “Tusk,” this delicate gem on heart strings puts McVie’s angelic voice front and center, and the faintest hints of guitar and keyboards form little more than an ethereal haze in the background.

Speaking of underappreciated gems, this soulful tune from McVie is the highlight of the band’s 1982 album, “Mirage,” with all due respect to the irresistibly fun and hilarious “Hold Me,” which McVie co-wrote with the singer and songwriter Robbie Patton songs.

McPhee has only released three solo albums: “Christine Perfect” (1970), the low-key album “Meanwhile” (2004) and, most importantly, a self-titled release in 1984, when the other band members were concentrating on their solo careers. “Got a Hold on Me,” in the best way, sounds like it could easily have appeared on any Fleetwood Mac album of the ’80s—it even features Buckingham on lead guitar.

Modern classic resident Everywhere—including in some of the ubiquitous commercial vehicles around fall 2022—this sparkling smash from the late ’80s remains one of Fleetwood Mac’s high-water mark. “I want to be everywhere with you,” McPhee sings over that infectious chorus, as if it’s as sumptuous of falling in love as pop music can manage, the slick and elegant production perfectly reflecting the butterflies she sings about.

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When McPhee first wrote the anthem “Don’t Stop,” she was trying to create a song that would cheer her ex-husband up, and also hoped Fleetwood Mac would survive making “The Rumors.” Twenty years later, when the band reunited for the live LP “The Dance,” not only did the song help Rumors become one of the best-selling albums in history, but it was also the campaign song of the current single. president. This festive finale from “The Dance” — featuring a full marching band! — turned out to be, in retrospect, a bittersweet shot: “Dance” would be the last Fleetwood Mac album to feature McVie. The following year, she left the band to live a quieter life off the road for nearly two decades; She returned on tour in 2014.