Album Review: In The Meantime

In The Meantime, by Christine McVie

Instead of going on tour with Fleetwood Mac in 2003 in support of an album that had taken several years of acrimonious struggle to create, Christine McVie did something that she has rarely done in her lengthy career as a musician, and that is record and release a solo album.  Although I am a considerable fan of hers, enough of one to have a Pandora station based on one of her songs from her second album, it cannot be denied that Christine McVie has not been very prolific as a solo artist since her first album was released in 1970, as this album, released in 2004, was only her third solo album [1].  Although her music has been well-known for a long time, almost all of her work is known as a result of her work with Fleetwood Mac or at least the majority of its members [2].  Here is a track-by-track review of this album:

Friend:  This is a beautiful and classy song about missing the love of someone whom the author still calls a friend even if he is no longer around.  It was the single from this album, and it sounds like the sort of material that could easily be a hit, especially on adult contemporary radio.

You Are:  An upbeat and optimistic song, this is the sort of love song that Christine McVie excels in, with its cheery instrumentation and also its reflection of the hard-won wisdom of age and experience.  This is the other song on this album that appears on my Pandora station and it should have been a hit as well.

Northern Star:  A song with subdued and gentle instrumentation, this song requires some passionate singing and Christine McVie sings in a soulful fashion about her commitment to someone she loves like a child.

Bad Journey:  This surprisingly upbeat song namechecks a lot of the cities that were traveled during a bad journey, and it is a successful effort at a bluesy sort of song that the Chainsmokers wish that they could make.  This is yet another song that could easily be played on Adult Contemporary or contemporary jazz stations.

Anything Is Possible:  This upbeat song is an interesting one, encouraging someone to engage in playful and witty banter and fool around with the singer, almost calling back to the playfulness of McVie’s debut album with its rather blunt come-ons.  To hear this song from a senior citizen is a reminder that some hippie habits die hard.

Calumny:  This song sounds like a sweet song of love and devotion until one looks at the lyrics, and one is reminded that as is frequent, Christine McVie gives a melancholy look at the dishonest side of love as well as the happier side.  This song is a reminder of how sweet and seductive deception can be.

So Sincere:  Intriguingly, a song about dishonesty is followed by one that expresses the singer’s sincerity in her love songs to a departed partner.  The restrained singing of McVie are balanced by some excellent backing vocals and some sophisticated instrumentation that make this a classy send-off.

Easy Come, Easy Go:  This song is a worldly wise and somewhat world-weary song about the failure of relationships to last like the singer would hope, the sort of sentiment one would expect from someone who has been rather open-hearted but also rather snakebite in love and relationships.

Liar:  This song is a rather sassy put-down of a failed partner who the singer considers as a gambler, calling him a jack of hearts.  Once again, the author reflects negatively on the tendency some people have of being immensely dishonest in love and relationships to the detriment of those who are sincere and honest.

Sweet Revenge:  This witty song is a reminder that if you are in a failed relationship with Christine McVie you’re probably not going to be friends afterward if the relationship fails because of betrayal.  She sings somewhat playfully about getting her sweet revenge, a reminder that many of these songs on this album appear to be about the same failed relationship, we would hope.

Forgiveness:  This song has a driving and upbeat music set to lyrics that tell a story about how the singer has tried to reach out over and over again to someone without success.  If the author has found it within her to forgive a failed partner and leave the emptiness behind, that does not mean that everything is alright.  This is a song that could have and should have been a pop and adult contemporary hit.

Givin’ It Back:  A sweet acoustic ballad about returning the love and devotion given, this song ends the album on an optimistic note, looking at how those who receive good love from others should sensitively return that love.  In an album with a lot of negativity, this song ends the album on a thoughtful and positive note that is much appreciated.

This album has the feel of a concept album of sorts that catches up listeners with the ups and downs of McVie’s personal life after her previous solo album in 1984.  This album has just about anything you would expect from someone who is witty, open-hearted, and yet somewhat restrained in her approach, an album full of reflections on love and relationships.  This is an album that should have been a lot more popular, and if the singer regrets now the way she went about recording this album and not promoting it, it nevertheless has some solid songs that deserve to be remembered highly.

[1] See, for example:

[2] See, for example:

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Love & Marriage, Music History and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Album Review: In The Meantime

  1. Pingback: You Can Talk To Me | Edge Induced Cohesion

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