In Daisy Jones and the six, the best-selling novel inspired by the tumultuous history of Fleetwood Mac, Taylor Jenkins Reid pens lyrics to an album to hint at the pathos of his fictional band. On the climactic “Regret Me,” frontwoman Daisy Jones delivers a devastating burn to her co-leader and songwriting partner Billy Dunne: “When you think of me, I hope I ruin rock’n’roll.” It’s a terrible line, but in the book it is met with shock and awe. Reid’s lyrics are filled with in-jokes that capture the vocalists’ romantic tension, a tension that ultimately spells undoing for the Six.
“Regret Me” gets the full studio treatment in the Amazon Original series, an adaptation of Reid’s book. While the TV version of that song is equipped with new lyrics, the barbs are just as clumsy: “Go ahead and regret me / But I’ll beat you to it, mate.” Still, the series’ accompanying soundtrack album, dawn, is an impossible-to-miss proposition for producer Blake Mills. With crack session players and an unfathomable budget behind him, he can pursue his own Laurel Canyon masterpiece; the fictitious assumption provides coverage when you go short. Contributors on this record include Marcus Mumford, Madison Cunningham, and Roger Joseph Manning Jr. The fact that they got he Jackson Browne to Write Music for Supermarket Novel Adaptation Says More About the Record Business Than Amazon’s Mockumentary
In its most ambitious form, dawn approximates the incremental trajectories of Fleetwood Mac’s late-’70s work. “Let Me Down Easy” and “Regret Me” traverse surprising melodic pivots, anchored by warm Rhodes tones and the vocal harmonies of actors Sam Claflin and Riley Keough. , who play Jones and Dunne in the series. On “Look at Us Now (Honeycomb),” acoustic chords and kick drum gain momentum en route to a one-chord guitar solo. It is a clear nod to rumors“The Chain,” but the degree of complexity, not to mention the bravura guitar work, makes it a rewarding homage.
Mills knows that trying to replicate the work of Fleetwood Mac is foolish, so he avoids his bets. The title track is more reminiscent of the Nashville machine than Laurel Canyon, and the vocal duets reveal a Broadway glimmer. On “Look at Us Now,” Claflin’s exaggerated vibrato fails to make up for the underwritten lyrics: “I don’t know who I am, baby, baby, baby/Do you know who you are? Is she out of our hands? There’s no symbolism or mystique, no white-winged doves or Rhiannons: it’s hard to imagine any of these adult contemporary show tunes breaking FM rotation, let alone 1977.