French Kiss

French Kiss

French Kiss was the solo debut album by former Fleetwood Mac singer/guitarist Bob Welch. For the occasion, “Sentimental Lady” (which had appeared on the Mac LP Bare Trees) was gussied up in high late-‘70s studio sheen: thick layers of shimmery vocals, soft strings, and buoyant bass. It was an instant Top 40 hit, as were two other French Kiss tracks: “Ebony Eyes” and “Hot Love, Cold World.” A few songs miss the mark (notably “Mystery Train,” besotted with flanged guitar and disco strings). But overall, the record’s tasteful yacht rock stands out and still sounds fresh, thanks to inventive guitar work and the inclusion of Mick Fleetwood, Lindsey Buckingham, and Christine McVie as the backing band. It’s not a lost Fleetwood Mac record, the way Bobby Charles’ solo album on Bearsville is a lost Band album. You might even call it fluff, but it’s very refined fluff. Welch died due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound on June 7, 2012, at the age of 65.

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