Fleetwood Mac were beginning to explore solo careers by the time Mirage was released – Stevie Nicks, Lindsey Buckingham, and even Mick Fleetwood had released solo albums in 1981, making Fleetwood Mac something of an afterthought. Mirage isn’t as engaging as their best work, but there’s still plenty to like. They’ve adapted their sound to the 1980s gracefully and it sounds like a more restrained version of Tusk
As with Tusk, Buckingham’s still experimenting with new wave sounds with ‘Empire State’ and ‘Eyes of the World’, although ‘Oh Diane’ is a very straightforward piece of retro pop. Christine McVie’s trippy ‘Hold Me’ and Nicks’ wonderful spotlight ‘Gypsy’ are two of the group’s strongest hits and they anchor this album. McVie is the strongest writer on Mirage, perhaps because she hadn’t released a solo album the previous year, with the pretty and straightforward ‘Only Over You’ and ‘Wish You Were Here’ are both beautiful.
Overall Mirage dips below the writing standard of Fleetwood Mac and Rumours, and isn’t as interesting as Tusk. But it’s a solid outing which has aged gracefully.