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The Feather

The Student News Site of Fresno Christian High School

The Feather

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Tusk song brings new psychedelic feel, experimental

The harsh sounds of the blowing wind softly shift to the smooth, sinister beating of drums. It sounds so soft and sleepy that you just want to take a nap, but there’s something primally vicious about it that makes you feel that it would be a wise decision to stay awake. You decide that you’ve made the right choice when two voices drone in semi-harmony. It all sounds so strange, but you quickly come to the conclusion that the sheer weirdness of it all is exactly why you like it so much.

These are the thoughts that I had when I first listened to “Tusk,” a 1979 single by Fleetwood Mac, and the eponymous song on their 12th album.

You may be asking yourself why I’m reviewing a single song and not an entire album. Don’t get me wrong, Tusk is one of the best albums ever recorded, but among all of the great songs featured on the record, I keep coming back to its title track which is, in my opinion, one of the best songs ever written.

One of the reasons why I like it is because the song is so much more experimental, weird and downright psychedelic than most of Fleetwood Mac’s catalog. The only reason that “Tusk” proved to be a big hit was because of the band that recorded it.

Now, while “Tusk” does in no way feel like a mainstream song, it is still a song that I feel everyone should listen to. The sound is so silky and sinister, the lyrics so minimal and the chorus so explosive that it quickly became my new favorite song the moment I listened to it.

The lyrics of this song tell such a strong story without saying anything. After several listenings, I have gathered that “Tusk” is about a marriage on the verge of falling apart. The way the chorus is screamed makes it sound like the tenuous relationship snaps in a massive argument. And then, seemingly for no reason, vocalist Lindsey Buckingham shouts the title of the song. What does that mean? Did they divorce? Did they make up? Did they kill each other? “Tusk” is a song that lets the listener decide how its story ends.

The instrumentals of the song are part of why I like it as well. It all sounds so cool and inviting, while also feeling violent and malicious. There is a gritty undercurrent that I really enjoy, from the slow volatile beat, to the almost reggae bass and guitar, to an utterly fantastic use of the USC marching band, “Tusk” is a song that will get stuck in your head.

Now, the album is fantastic as well. From the opening of “Over and Over” to the end of “Never Forget,” Tusk is by far the most experimental of Fleetwood Mac’s albums, and thus the most interesting. However, the titular song is the true standout.

All in all, “Tusk” might be the weirdest song to ever hit the Top 10 in the charts. It is also, however, one of the best songs to hold that honor. Seek it out.

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