"Under the Skin"
Never one to rush his work,
Lindsey Buckingham made sure
Under the Skin was worth the wait.
By SEAN DALY
October 6, 2006
St. Petersburg Times
In between albums, fights, sex, drug binges and more fights with his
bandmates in Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham has released just
four solo albums in 25 years.
It'd be fun to blame former flame Stevie Nicks and her witchy spells
for his stretches of solo silence. But the truth is that Buckingham
is an intense studio perfectionist.
With the Mac, he's meticulous behind the soundboard. On his own,
however, the 57-year-old L.A. fixture is a freak, a beyond-ambitious
artist who sweats over every acoustic pluck and dramatically layered
Parallels to Beach Boy Brian Wilson? You betcha. There's always been
a dark lining to Buckingham's complex Golden State sunsets,
especially on the new Under the Skin, an album that manages to sound
both very familiar (the lush, sunset harmonies of Down on Rodeo) and
extremely odd (the frantic-pluck paranoia of baroque opener Not Too
Late). It's not always easy listening, but it's never boring.
Buckingham created most of the disc using nothing more than his
voice and his guitar, one man layering and layering himself until he
sounds like a chorus of world-weary thousands all trapped in a
lonely, echoey room.
You won't find catchy, quirky hits a la Go Insane, Trouble or
Holiday Road on this 11-track rumination about love and aging in
La-La Land. And if you're waiting for the guitar man to shred out a
searing solo, there's no air guitar opportunities here, either.
But Under the Skin has much to like and plenty to wow at. On first
single Show You How, Buckingham's backing vocals on the chorus dart
like dive-bombing birds. Playing what sounds like a lute, he turns
the Rolling Stones' I Am Waiting into a creepy-cool medieval
meditation perfect for halftime at a joust.
And on album closer Flying Down Juniper, this father of three young
tykes sets aside his neuroses and soundtracks his children playing
silly games. The result is contentment rather than sap, a
big-brained rock star trying to process, and enjoy, life as just a
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Under the Skin