Fleetwood Mac visionary’s stellar return
The artist's first solo album in a decade sticks to the world-beating path he’s mastered, drawing on love and lost relationships along the way.
By Rhys Buchanan
Recent world events have proved deeply frustrating for musicians of all levels – even those once central to one of the best-selling groups of all time. The long dark tunnel stretches further back for Lindsey Buckingham though; after being fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018, the visionary then faced life-saving emergency open-heart surgery in 2019 before the pandemic even hit.
He described the three life-changing punches as “a trifecta of events that were completely off the charts.” It’s no wonder then, that Buckingham finds himself picking through the rubble as well as seeking light on his seventh solo studio album ‘Lindsey Buckingham’. On his first solo studio effort post-Mac, he’s intent on staying grounded musically and emotionally.
The buoyant opener ‘Scream’ feels a fitting way to kick things off – the swift and sweet track gleefully casts those difficult and stormy days away. A sense of abandon cuts through the driving acoustic melody with innocent simplicity through the lyricism: “Lost in the language of your touch / Just like you’re wakin’ from the dream / Oh, I love you when you scream.”
One of the record’s most enchanting moments comes early on with ‘I Don’t Mind’. A figure who has been embroiled in drama and heartache throughout his career, it’s no secret that Buckingham can pen an impacting love song. The track floats with masterful melodies as the lyricism elegantly picks apart the struggles and compromise of a long-term relationship.
He’s just as effective when dealing with the more notable long-term relationship that came crashing to an acrimonious end. The rhythmic anthem of ‘On The Wrong Side’ deals with the feelings of his split with Fleetwood Mac: “I’m outta pity / I’m outta time / Another city, another crime / I’m on the wrong side”, he sings before cutting loose with a soaring emotionally charged guitar solo. There’s definitely some healing going on here.
Even the most casual Fleetwood Mac fans won’t have to look hard to uncover the band’s classic hallmarks, which are dotted all over the listen. ‘Swan Song’ packs the deep velvety guitar textures once heard during the ‘Tango In The Night’ era; elsewhere ‘Power Down’ showcases the effortless grandeur of the timeless finger-picking behind their biggest hits.
The album bustles with defiant spirit while leaning heavily on deeply catchy songwriting and production. And with Mick Fleetwood having reconciled with Buckingham back in March, it’s exactly the kind of triumphant return that could give his old band food for thought.