Friday, October 14, 2011

Review: Lindsey Buckingham Seeds We Sow ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★/10

Lindsey Buckingham
Seeds We Sow  ★ ★ ★★★ ★ ★/10
By John Bergstrom
Pop Matters

Most of Lindsey Buckingham’s career has been a study in contradiction. He was the eccentric, anti-social studio rat who was fascinated by Talking Heads and the Clash. Yet he was the featured guitarist in one of the most mainstream, popular bands in the world. When Buckingham tried to inject his restlessness into Fleetwood Mac on Tusk , the result was a million-selling album that was deemed a commercial failure and brought on the wrath of his bandmates and record company alike.

Buckingham relented, saving his more experimental work for an intermittent solo career, which he financed with his day job as musical director for the Mac. But it was always a struggle. Thanks in no small part to Warner Brothers Records’ politicking, Buckingham’s solo albums became Fleetwood Mac albums, first Tango in the Night, and then, after a 15-year reprieve, Say You Will.

Finally, as the 21st Century dawned, Buckingham began to come to terms with both sides of his musical existence. As he formed his own family and relationships within Fleetwood Mac became more normal and drug-free, he was able to channel his restless energy into the band, then take the momentum back into the studio for a resurgent run of solo work. Under the Skin (2006) and Gift of Screws (2008) are widely regarded as some of the best work of Buckingham’s career, and for good reason. They showcase a musician and songwriter who is fully immersed in, and coming to terms with, his considerable gifts. And the two albums provide an ideal combination of the skilled melodicism and almost unhinged strangeness that have marked the different aspects of Buckingham’s career.

You can consider Seeds We Sow the third in a trilogy. In terms of overall feel, it is very much of a piece with Under the Skin and Gift of Screws. Maybe too much so, for some listeners. Buckingham is now free of Warner Brothers, which means Seeds We Sow is even more of a do-it-yourself effort than the previous releases. But the close, reverb-drenched atmospheres, needling acoustic guitar arpeggios, and minimal production are familiar.

No comments:

Post a comment