These capsule reviews of a few currently available releases are designed to help readers decide which records to buy. Inclusion does not indicate Monitor endorsement. Further reviews in the rock/pop category - as well as in other categories, such as classical and jazz - are published from time to time. ROCK/POP
Fleetwood Mac: "Mirage.'' 23607-1. The pleasures of this album are in its smooth, understated style and its fresh, uncomplicated melodies. It's a distinctive flavor that's been the group's signature since the mid-70s, when Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined on. Although easily recognized, Fleetwood Mac is always welcome just the same, like the familiar tartness of an early fall apple. The group took a brief sojourn in the land of ''Tusk'' three years ago, in an album that surprised and confused some Fleetwood Mac fans. Nonetheless, the different-sounding title song, played with the University of Southern California Marching Band, washed refreshingly over a music scene dominated by soggy pop, hard rockers, and disco. ''Mirage,'' on the other hand, is more in style with their ''Fleetwood Mac'' and ''Rumours'' albums, and includes the hit song ''Hold Me,'' written by Christine McVie and Robbie Patton. It charms as only Fleetwood Mac can. The group is at their best on a tune like ''That's Alright,'' written by Stevie Nicks, where the music flows casually yet smoothly, and the feeling is that the group got together only because they felt like making some music.