Christine McVie

In the Meantime

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Christine McVie opted out of the reunited Fleetwood Mac's return to the studio for 2003's Say You Will, and listening to her 2004 solo album In the Meantime, it's easy to see why. She simply didn't want work on such a grand scale as Fleetwood Mac. She wanted to make a low-key, intimate, mellow record that's more about atmosphere than songwriting. It makes In the Meantime an unassuming return to recording -- it's hardly a big splash that some might expect after a 20-year wait between solo records -- and it's not bad. It's not particularly memorable since the songs are so low-key that they tend to float by one by one, sustaining the friendly, relaxed vibe, but not going much beyond that, either. Yet, there's a certain charm in that, especially in comparison to the big-budget, widescreen epics of such Mac albums as Tango in the Night, where each track was meticulously arranged and assembled piece by piece. Here, McVie is comfortable, playing with a sympathetic band, and sounding at ease for the first time in years. It's nice to hear her so relaxed, and while it's hard not to wish that it was easier to remember the songs once the album was finished, it's hard not to enjoy In the Meantime as it's playing.

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