Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: Lindsey Buckingham "challenging yet melodic songs on Seeds We Sow"

Buckingham continues to go his own way
By Jesse De Leon

"Seeds We Sow still echoes with the signature musical imprint of one of rock's most influential architects"

CORPUS CHRISTI — When Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac on New Year's Eve 1974, they had no idea how their relationship would affect the group's musical direction. They were a couple at the time, and their eventual breakup, as well as the dissolution of the marriage between fellow band members John and Christine McVie, ended up being the inspiration for many of the songs on the band's masterwork, 1977's Rumours. Buckingham's finest moment on that album was the blistering pop/rock of "Go Your Own Way," a fiery kiss-off to Nicks. That song was just one of the highlights of the group's many successful albums.

After several multiplatinum discs and sold-out tours, Buckingham announced he was leaving Fleetwood Mac, only to return for a much-hyped reunion in 1997. Whether he was in the band or not, he still released several solo albums that displayed his own brand of quirky pop music more sharply than it did on past Mac projects. He returns with another batch of challenging yet melodic songs on Seeds We Sow (Mind Kit Records).

Amazingly, Buckingham's voice seems to have transcended time, as his vocals sound as if they could have graced some of Fleetwood Mac's best 70s work. But it's obvious that he's a little worse for the emotional wear and tear and he cleverly juxtaposes his take on the disturbing state of the world against a lovely, deceptively engaging melody on "End of Time." While that is far and away the best song here, several of the other performances are layered with Buckingham's multi-tracked voice and assured, meticulous guitar lines.

"Illumination" is a song that finds Buckingham displaying his gray haired wisdom in a lyrically clever way. "In Our Own Time" and "That's The Way Love Goes" are melodic cautionary tales in a similar vein and they perfectly balance the less innocuous reflections like the eerie "When She Comes Down." All the songs are originals except for an acoustic cover of the Rolling Stones' "She Smiled Sweetly" that sounds as if Buckingham ran through this tune in a casual, offhand way and liked the end result. On the other end of the spectrum is "Stars Are Crazy," the one track that sounds like it could have been on Rumours, as it tears through the emotional wreckage of what's left of a relationship. In a sense, that song brings it all full-circle for Buckingham, as Seeds We Sow still echoes with the signature musical imprint of one of rock's most influential architects.

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