Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Buck Starts Here

For any of Fleetwood Mac's fans from the 70's who have wished Buckingham would get back to his long haired and bearded Rock phase, this one's for you!

Mac Daddy Lindsey Buckingham is back, in a relatively short period of time, with his new CD Gift of Screws. Buckingham hasn't been known for being prolific since the 70's so it's cool to see a new disc this year following his strong Under The Skin release of 2006 (though I first heard him wanting to use this album title as far back as the mid-90's. During the 1997 Dance tour with Fleetwood Mac I received a free sampler from Best Buy that included the song "Steal Your Heart Away" billed as belonging to the Gift of Screws album. The song later showed up on Fleetwood Mac's Say You Will release.) . Skin was a quiet, more personal take on the man's style of classic pop elements mixed with 70's So Cal rock. This time out, Buckingham takes the opposite tact leading to his loosest and in spots hardest rocking selection of tunes since 1979's Tusk.

And that's how this album has been billed, "Lindsey Buckingham's return to Rock." There is some truth to that statement, Buckingham drops some of the herky jerky rhythms and egg head production sheen to focus on tougher guitar riffs and intense soloing. The best of the bunch is the "Go Your Own Way"ish song "Love Runs Deeper" with it's quiet/loud song structure and runaway chorus. "Did You Miss Me" has a swoony melody and some of Buckingham's smooth dream-like sonics to convey longing. On the Title Track, the Mac master gets a little silly by altering his voice to cartoonish levels to accompany the guitar work. It's his most playful track since "My Little Demon". "The Right Place to Fade" even recaptures some of his mid 70's Country Rock swagger with voices mixed to mimic the Buckingham/Nicks style harmonies.

Alternately, some of the mellow stripped down sonics from Skin show up as well. His fast paced finger picked style still soothes as it creates a lively tapestry. "Bel Air Rain" and "Time Precious Time" both are mostly just him and his voice. "Treason" infuses some of Buckingham's 1950's vocal group influence to a slow beat.

Gift of Screws is an excellent display of Lindsey Buckingham's talents. Sometimes his albums sound so planned and heavily produced that it looses some flavor (particularly in the 80's where the synthesizers and bouncing vocal tracks got really thick) so it's refreshing to hear some immediacy to Screws. Being a long time fan of the Buckingham / Nicks version of Fleetwood Mac, Gift of Screws is a real treat. It's both a look back and a look ahead from an Artist that continues to challenge himself.

Lindsey Buckingham "Did You Miss Me"

No comments: