Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

These may or may not be newly released disks. They might not even be a good disk - just what is been in heavy rotation in my car (as usually the iPod is playing anywhere else).
Whoa! has Lindsey Buckingham not aged well - physically. How many covers shots were taken before they finally settled on this beauty? eeek. He looks like a beaten man.

Buckingham, however, has aged just fine musically. At least with Gift of Screws. His solo album track record isn't all that great. I say that every other disk he releases is listenable. That is not to say they aren't all interesting, just not everyday kind of fare.

Gift is his only his fifth release in 27 years. He clearly peaked with 1992's Out of the Cradle, and while 2006's Under the Skin was great musically, lyrically and vocally it majorly lacked. And that is has always been his biggest issue as a solo artist. Buckingham is clearly a great arranger, producer and guitarist - possibly one of the most underrated guitarists that is out there. But the experimentation he started on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk has gotten the better of him.

Without other singers/songwriters/musicians to balance his quirks, sometimes he just comes off as the Howard Hughes of pop music.

That being said - Gift of Screws brings Buckingham back to center. Left of center for sure, but a bit more normalcy for the listening public. There are Tusk and Cradle elements in the songs, but I wouldn't go as far as to say it sounds like any of this other albums. But some of them sound some of this other songs. I don't think he can help himself with his multi-layered vocals. Not a bad thing, and it is not nearly as annoying as it was on Under the Skin.

Yeah, I'm a sucker for late 70s Fleetwood Mac, so I find the best songs to be "Did You Miss Me" and "Love Runs Deeper". His guitar work on songs like "Bel Air Rain" is exemplary (as it is on "Time Precious Time" though with weak weak vocals), but how does the beginning of "A Right Place to Fade" not pull directly from his Rumours song, "Second Hand News"? ...and not just the beginning, I guess. "Underground" and "Treason" reflect some Cradle work.

Incorporating the past with the present isn't a horrible thing or equates to selling out. There is only so long one can stand out on the edge before alienating your buying public. Buckingham has stepped off that edge, possibly just in time.

Will the disk get any kind of radio or VH1 support? No, but it is a decent disk that should at least have the chance to be heard.

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