Two years after the Lindsey Buckingham/Stevie Nicks/Christine McVie-less incarnation of Fleetwood Mac crashed and burned, their classic '70s lineup reunited for an MTV Unplugged session and an accompanying tour. Although it's likely that the reunion was for monetary purposes, it made creative sense as well -- no members were as compelling solo as they were with the group. Despite this, the Unplugged-styled setting wasn't ideal for a reunion, since the group decided to devote nearly a quarter of The Dance to new material, inevitably resulting in unfair comparisons to their warhorses. Since there's so much new material, The Dance can't be a truly nostalgic experience either, because the new songs interrupt the flow. Not that they're bad -- both Buckingham's gentle "Bleed to Love Her" and nervy "My Little Demon" are first-rate -- but they aren't given the full-fledged production they deserve. Similarly, the older songs suffer from the slightly hollow unplugged production. All the hits are performed in nearly identical arrangements to the originals, with the exception of Buckingham's solo "Big Love" (an improvement on the original) and the addition of Tusk's marching band to "Don't Stop," which makes the differences all too apparent. Much is the same -- McVie and Nicks sound terrific, and the band is tight and professional -- but Buckingham has lost some of his range, which undercuts some of his songs. Still, that isn't enough to prevent The Dance from being an entertaining listen; it just isn't a substantial one.
The Dance Review
by Stephen Thomas Erlewine