Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reviews. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 06, 2018

REVIEWS It all began with Fleetwood Mac

It all began with Fleetwood Mac

Spectrum Culture
by Kevin Korber

Casual music fans would be forgiven for thinking that Fleetwood Mac is the band’s first album. It isn’t even the first self-titled album in the band’s discography–that honor goes to a 1968 release put out when the band was a blues-rock trio led by Peter Green–but it might as well serve as a starting point for what Fleetwood Mac would eventually become. While it is often overshadowed by the iconic Rumours, much of what made that album great is laid out here, from the band’s smooth, folk-rock sound and the identity that Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks brought to the band. If this re-issue demonstrates anything, it shows that this album is very much deserving of the instant-classic status that its successor also enjoys.

Fleetwood Mac is an album of three distinct personalities and styles that mesh surprisingly well together in a beautiful way. Buckingham provides most of the album’s rocking moments, but his slick, polished West Coast rock is far removed from anything the band did with either Peter Green or Bob Welch at the helm. Everything seems to have arrived fully-formed: the shimmering harmonies and scorned-lover lyrical perspectives are all there on “Monday Morning” and “Blue Letter,” the latter of which is one of the real hidden gems on this album. Nicks arrived in the band with a mix of heart-on-sleeve sincerity and sultry mysticism that created two of the album’s most enduring hits (“Landslide” and “Rhiannon,” respectively), and the new mastering on this edition makes her irreplaceable voice all the more powerful.

However, it’s arguably Christine McVie who stands out as the MVP on the album, straddling a line between Nicks’ ethereal folk and Buckingham’s driving rock to create songs that are really crucial to how the band would later develop. McVie had previously acted as the pop counterbalance to the band’s more blues-y tendencies after she joined in 1971, but the drastic shift to a more pop-leaning sound allowed her to truly shine with compositions like the dreamy “Warm Ways” and the undeniably catchy “Say You Love Me.”

The extra material available here only serves to underline just how remarkable the album is. Demos on box sets like these usually show a slow progress as each song develops from its barest beginnings to the finished product. That’s not quite the case with the demos for Fleetwood Mac, nearly all of which are mostly finished songs that lack the final production touches of the album versions. The early versions of Buckingham’s songs here mostly just lack the vocal harmonies that gave the final versions that extra kick, while McVie’s early recording of “Over My Head” is essentially finished. Given the amount of overhaul in the band at this time, the unified front presented in these studio outtakes is surprising indeed.

The real conflict in Fleetwood Mac circa 1975 comes out in the live material listed here. Yes, Buckingham and Nicks were brought in with the purpose of shaking up the band’s sound, but Fleetwood Mac had spent a decade as a wonky blues band before then, and those habits are difficult to break. Live, the band seem to be in a constant tug of war between their hard-rocking past and their poppy present. It should be a mess, but it instead gives the band a fire and energy that one doesn’t get on the recordings. The band’s newer material has a sharper edge, best exemplified by Buckingham’s blistering guitar work on the live version of “Rhiannon.” Similarly, the renditions of early blues material gets a new life by being interpreted by musicians less attached to the traditions of the material, turning them into fiery rock songs with just the right amount of aggression. It’s a wonderfully jarring experience for anyone who thinks of this era of Fleetwood Mac as a baggy-clothed folk-pop band without any harsh edges.

Whether they rocked or not, this iteration of Fleetwood Mac endured because of their songs. For all that can be said about Peter Green or Bob Welch during their respective time with the band, it’s clear now that the band’s focus was more on performance than on songwriting when they were figureheads. Buckingham and Nicks changed that entirely, and along with Christine McVie, they put pop songwriting at the forefront of what the band was about. The end result was a run of some of the greatest, most enduring pop music of all time and it all began with Fleetwood Mac.

Music Review: Fleetwood Mac, By Fleetwood Mac
By: Tony Nielsen

The original Fleetwood Mac was a British blues band, which operated between 1967 and 1974 when Mick Fleetwood, John McVie and his new wife, keyboardist Christine, found themselves without a lead vocalist and lead guitarist, and scouting LA for replacements.

Cue Lindsay Buckingham, who insisted his singer and partner Stevie Nicks were conditions of his joining Fleetwood Mac. Musically this also drew a line in the sand to their role as blues campaigners.

So, 40 years on we're celebrating what was the new-look Fleetwood Mac's self-titled album, second only to the mega selling Rumours, reaching over 40 million in sales, and securing a top 10 position in overall album sales.

This special edition version of Fleetwood Mac contains favourites like Oh Daddy, Say you love me, Rhiannon, Landslide and Over my Head. Better still the CD/LP that accompanies the original album catches early versions of some of the songs, as well as live versions. In other words, it's a treasure trove of a band that's on its way to super-stardom.

While, with sales of just 40 million, it's overshadowed by Rumours, Fleetwood Mac is one of those releases that sounds as fresh today as it did in 1975, and with then bonus album it's pretty much essential for any record collection.

Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac album review
by Mark Beaumont

In which Fleetwood Mac Mk 2 rises from two separate dumpers
Some tacos are destined to change the world. Take the ones over which the remnants of Fleetwood Mac ‘auditioned’ Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks in a Mexican restaurant in LA in 1974. Mac were smarting from five years of slumping record sales and the departure of guitarist and songwriter Bob Welch; Buckingham and Nicks, who had a flop album themselves with 1973’s Buckingham Nicks, were on the verge of quitting their part-time LA jobs, ending their floundering relationship and going their separate ways. The Mac needed only a new guitarist, but Buckingham refused to join unless they took Nicks as well. Mick Fleetwood gave his remaining core songwriter, Christine McVie, a veto over Nicks, but the pair got on famously. By the time the margaritas were drained, softrock history was shaken on.

The Mac album (the band’s tenth) that this fresh new line-up began recording just three weeks later – with Buckingham so pushy in teaching the veteran rhythm section their parts that John McVie chided him: “The band you’re in is Fleetwood Mac. I’m the Mac. I play the bass” – would become their second self-titled release, to mark their final transition from Peter Green’s blues-rock version to a new country-rooted pop-rock sound. The title heralded a new Fleetwood Mac, and their second era would become one of the most successful rebirths in rock.

Inevitably, one returns to 1975’s Fleetwood Mac with radar attuned to the first whispers of Rumours, and there are plenty circulating within these semi-magical 42 minutes. The simmering emotional friction that gave the 40-million-selling 1977 follow-up its invigorated snarl is absent, but the building blocks are stacked high. Buckingham sets out his stall from the off, with the country rock rattle of Monday Morning acting as a practice run at Second Hand News and a minor hint of the unsettled bitterness to come. ‘Got to get some peace in my mind,’ he whines, little knowing he was at least one monster international hit album away from any such thing. Later he plays the invigorated Nashville cowboy rocker with aplomb on Blue Letter and World Turning – an early attempt at electrifying spit’n’sawdust C&W in the vein of The Chain – but at this stage, as he lilts a little blandly over ponderous album closer I’m So Afraid and a reworked version of Crystal from Buckingham Nicks, he feels something of a bit-player in the new Mac order.

It’s Nicks who lands with the impact of a superhero from space. Rhiannon’s sly-eyed dance of the seven veils was the first stone-cold classic of Mac 2.0, instigating the strain of guttural gypsy queen allure that would give this new incarnation its sliver of exoticism, and her other major contribution, future live staple Landslide, set a benchmark for Fleetwood Mac’s folk balladry that they would, somewhat miraculously, go on to top. Here, Nicks is slumped disheartened in an Aspen sitting room, gazing out at the Rocky Mountains, considering giving up everything to go back to school and wondering how her life had become such emotional scree. The autobiographical honesty of the track would seep into the bedrock of Rumours.

Elsewhere, Christine McVie was demonstrably coming into her own. Languid, mildly jazzy tracks such as Warm Ways and Over My Head perhaps throw back too heavily to the Bob Welch era or even Albatross, albeit with Buckingham’s country licks hovering overhead, but with the wonderfully upbeat Say You Love Me and Sugar Daddy she dovetailed perfectly with Nicks and Buckingham’s brand of honeyed hippie honky-tonk.

Of the live tracks, instrumentals and studio out-takes making up the additional 35 tracks of the deluxe package, it’s the unpolished, formative early takes of the original album’s tracks that will most fascinate the dedicated Mac-heads – this was, after all, where Fleetwood Mac’s most celebrated incarnation clicked or clashed. Here, the urgent quiver to Buckingham’s ragged rough takes of Monday Morning and Blue Letter smack of a desperate young songwriter grasping his last chance hard. In contrast, Nicks’ sultry assurance has her adding to the ghostly charms of Rhiannon with an opening speech: “Sometimes you wake up and Rhiannon’s right there.” When the in-band soap opera kicked off in earnest, exaggerating these very traits in Nicks and Buckingham, the world would love to love them both; for now, Fleetwood Mac was the sound of a blessed second chance gradually realising just how blessed it was.

Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
Though far from their debut, the band’s 1975 self-titled album felt like a debut: a pop-rock statement and the unexpected intersection of two parallel spheres that offered something genuinely new.

by Stephen Thomas

Reissue Review: Fleetwood Mac’s pivotal 1975 s/t LP remains a timeless classic
By Andrew Sacher
Brooklyn Vegan

Monday, June 19, 2017

CD Review Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie "A worthwhile exercise"

Lindsey Buckingham / Christine McVie
Drowned in Sound
by Joe Goggins

There’s a couple of possibilities in play when it comes to the title of this collaborative LP from Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie. One is that they’re especially paranoid about the possibility of falling foul of the Trade Descriptions Act, and feared that a simple Buckingham-McVie moniker might have had fans storming record shops in their droves and demanding refunds after discovering that this isn’t, in fact, some kind of creative partnership between the House of Windsor and Fleetwood Mac bassist John McVie, who by all accounts would rather be pursuing his love of sailing these days than touring the world in a famously tortured rock and roll band. The other line of reasoning, of course, is that comparisons with the highly-charged Buckingham-Nicks label would’ve been uncomfortable at best and an outright distraction at worst.

It’s exactly that line of thinking, though, that brings you to wonder what it is that Buckingham and McVie were looking to get out of this joint effort; after all, the former has always quietly served as his band’s musical director and the latter was, until recently, entirely off the radar, having effectively spent the best part of two decades as a recluse in the English countryside before finally rejoining Fleetwood Mac on the road. That said, the idea that their partnership was somehow less worthy of attention than that between Buckingham and Nicks is daft; after all, the last truly classic album that the band turned out, Tango in the Night, was built primarily around their songs, with McVie - who, of course, was a part of the setup before Buckingham - laying claim to the classics ‘Little Lies’ and ‘Everywhere’.

It’s worth mentioning that McVie’s ex-husband and Mick Fleetwood both chip in on this album, meaning it’s only a Nicks guest turn away from basically serving as the first new full-length from the group since 2003’s tepid Say You Will. Perhaps that’s the best prism through which to view it, especially given that the last recorded output we got from them as a whole was Extended Play in 2013, prior to McVie rejoining. It was, not to put too fine a point on it, absolutely rubbish. It also felt really regressive, a cynical jab at recapturing some idealised Fleetwood Mac sound, when of course that in its genuine form relies on a cornucopia of different ideas from different songwriters.

Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie comes quite close to it. Both sound pretty free; there’s plenty of experimentation, which is ultimately for both better and worse. ‘Feel About You’ is slight and would barely be there without the peculiar, Grease-esque backing vocals, and yet it’s an earworm. ‘In My World’ is the opposite, thickly layered and constantly shifting shape - it’s deliberate and considered, with the midsection recalling ‘Big Love’ with the vocal back-and-forth.

There’s inevitably missteps. ‘Too Far Gone’ goes all-out in its pursuit of disco and falls short on pretty much every front; the guitars have a weird, off-putting buzz to them, and both vocalists sound achingly uncomfortable, to the point that it’s astonishing that they listened back to it and were happy to put it on the record. Additionally, ‘On with the Show’ is a mid-tempo plodder that might conceivably have been intended for Fleetwood Mac, given that’s what their last world tour was called - it certainly wears the lethargy of Extended Play.

Flashes of vintage Mac remain, though, from both Buckingham and McVie. The latter takes the lead on what might be the standout, the gorgeous ‘Red Sun’, whilst ‘Lay Down for Free’ has Lindsey pulling that strange trick of sounding laid-back but emanating urgency on what should otherwise be a breezy, country-flecked rocker; it’s proof that all of his songwriting faculties are still intact. The fascinating thing is the overall sound of Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie and its production; it’s intriguingly low-key, especially given Buckingham’s appetite for lush textures in recent years. Accordingly, the album falls somewhere between curio and convincing; there’s enough here to hold the attention of the casual Mac fan, however fleetingly, but diehards should find a bit more to dig into in the brighter moments. A worthwhile exercise.

CD Review Lindsey Buckingham, Christine McVie

Otago Daily Times

Fleetwood Mac fans as well as casual passers-by will recognise these names. Yes, two-fifths of the rock colossus has headed to the studio and come up with a 10-song duo album that shows big choruses can almost (but not quite) cover up for occasional by-the-numbers clangers (Too Far Gone). 

Still, inviting drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie along for the ride has had its obvious benefits, allowing Buckingham to revel in his guitar technique, an assured hybrid of folk and country fingerstyle and distorted wig-out.

McVie brings the air and lightness of touch, her warm vocals a foil to Buckingham’s more gritty delivery (Red Sun and Lay Down For Free are classic Mac).

• Lindsey Buckingham/Christine McVie. Self-titled. Warner Music.
• Three stars (out of five)

Single download: Red Sun
For those who like: Elton John

— Shane Gilchrist

Thursday, March 24, 2011

(VIDEO) Stevie Nicks "Fall From Grace" | "Stand Back"

Tampa, Florida - March 23, 2011


(Check out the screens when she begins to twirl around)

(Photo Gallery) Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks - Tampa Bay

Well... Dave is obviously in the "Secret Love" Video...

A LOT of great photos at Metromix Tampa Bay [link]
Photos by: Tracy May

(PHOTOS) Stevie Nicks Live in Tampa

Rod Stewart and Stevie Nicks 
Tampa, Florida March 23, 2011 


Full Gallery of Rod and Stevie from last night.


The latest single from Stevie Nicks... First performance live!

Nicely done!... It sounds perfect... The promo video we have yet to see is being played in the background, but unfortunately it's not captured in this.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

STEVIE NICKS Opens Tampa Show... Looking and Sounding Great!

Stevie Nicks opened for Rod Stewart in Tampa tonight... She'll re-appear somewhere during his set to duet with him on one or two tracks... Turns out there were no duets between the two.  That's odd, considering we heard so much from the two of them in the press about the duet possibilities... Well hopefully it's just the case with tonights show.. There's a bunch more shows to go.

The first show got underway tonight with a surprise opener from Stevie...a tune she's played many times live but one she's never opened her show with [nice change].  

The setlist, provided with thanks by Alicelover over on the Ledge who had the play by play as the show was going on by someone sending text messages.. As usual the Stevie fans come through with all we want to hear... One surprise of the night aside from Stevie promising to play "Secret Love" which she did, is the infamous "Secret Love" Video (THAT NOBODY HAS SEEN YET) was played on the big backdrop during the song.  It's been reported the song was filmed from the audience, so it's possible that we may get a glimpse of the Video before it officially is released.

I won't list the setlist here, I'll provide a link [here] just in case you want it to be a surprise for your show...

Judging by this photo, she appears to be wearing similar outfits from previous tours, although having not seen a good close up shot, I'm not sure if anything was new.. Apparently the boots weren't back tonight, she wore the platform shoes.  By the sounds of the video footage below she sounded like she was in really good form.

There apparently wasn't an Edge walk at the end of Edge of Seventeen as the stage was set too far back from the audience... Not sure if this will be the case for all shows or if it was just this configuration.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham once again affirmed his guitar hero status - Live in Chicago


Paste MagazineBy Joshua Klein
Photos by Laura G

Gift Of Screws is Lindsey Buckingham's second solo album in two years following a nearly 15-year gap, and he didn't shy away from showcasing the new material at the House Of Blues on Thursday night, even if most of the attendees were likely expecting his Fleetwood Mac hits (and even if many minds were perhaps preoccupied by the concurrent Cubs playoff game and VP debates, no doubt to blame for the less-than-capacity crowd).

As leader of Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham sold millions of records, but has seen less commercial success on his own. Artistically, though, his solo work has never really struck a wrong note, and all of his records have been exceedingly adventurous. Still, at this point one must assume his cult solo status comes largely by choice: He could easily fit most of his solo tracks to suit Fleetwood Mac, and has in the past. Indeed, much of Gift Of Screws dates back to the time when Fleetwood Mac's Say You Will convinced Buckingham to sideline his solo career and cannibalize several works in progress for the sake of the group.

Still, in a live setting, the likes of "Love Runs Deeper" and the new album's title track proved to be energized rockers with the rough edges left thankfully intact (as much as the control-freak in Buckingham leaves any edges rough). The latter was deliriously unhinged and the former easily on par with past Buckingham pop nuggets such as "Go Insane" and "Trouble," performed that night back-to-back. When Buckingham did dip into the Mac catalog, he chose the unlikely avenue of "Tusk" and "I Know I'm Not Wrong" rather than the most obvious songs-- though he eventually did some of those, too, including "Never Going Back Again" through the crowd-pleasing "World Turning" and "Go Your Own Way."

Throughout the night, Buckingham once again affirmed his guitar hero status, his idiosyncratic finger-picking style one of the many things that set his go-for-broke solos apart from the usual suspects. Though he demonstrated flash to spare, watching him play was akin to watching someone weave, his fingers gracefully dancing across and around the strings with an ease sometimes at odds with the jagged sonic shrapnel coming from his instrument. Buckingham could likely afford to add an extra player or two to the tried-and-true trio that has been accompanying him as of late, but the quartet did remarkably well with his equally composed and crazy arrangements-- frenetic, fussy and just as often beautiful in one fell swoop.

REVIEW: Lindsey Buckingham goes beyond the big Mac

Buckingham goes beyond the big Mac

Globe and Mail
October 8, 2008

"It's often better to be in chains than to be free." - Franz Kafka

"Chain, keep us together" - Stevie Nicks

'Probably I would never make Fleetwood Mac albums at all," says Lindsey Buckingham, before adopting an Al Pacino Godfather III rasp, "but it's like 'You're dragging me back into it.' " The Go Your Own Way singer, in town for a concert last night in Hamilton and a sold-out one this evening at The Music Hall, is speaking of the push and pull between his dual careers as a solo artist and the Fleetwood Mac front man. Or maybe that's not what he's referring to. Because as Buckingham points out, not in any prickly way mind you, he's being asked a good number of Fleetwood Mac questions. "It's okay, though" he says, "you fall back on what you know."

Speaking to the man with regard to his latest solo album, Gift of Screws, it's hard not to think about the band that still occupies a fair bit of his time. Fleetwood Mac, a complicated group of Brit bluesers and So-Cal pop-rockers (including Buckingham's scarf-wearing former lover Stevie Nicks) are regrouping for the first time since 2004, with rehearsals likely to begin early next year for a spring go-round. "We'll see how that goes," Buckingham shrugs, "and we'll probably make another album at some point."

And yes, a few songs from Gift of Screws, unlike 2006's acoustic Under the Skin, have that familiar bouncy Mac style. In fact, three of them (the bluesy Wait for You, The Right Place to Fade and the title track) originate from recording sessions with group namesakes Mick Fleetwood and John McVie in the 1990s. Other material from those sessions ended up on Fleetwood Mac's last album, 2003's Say You Will.

But in addition to the familiar sound of the songs, the lyrics often address the confusing rock-star life that Buckingham led while in a band he first left in 1987. The trickling acoustic Bel Air Rain has the candid reflection, "In my younger days, I was mistaken for a whore/ I guess you can say I lived in shame."

Buckingham, greying but fighting-weight thin at the age of 59, protests (a little bit) that the songs are just generally about success and the pressure to repeat it, but he does admits that Bel Air Rain refers to the stressed post-Rumours period of the late 1970s and 1980s. "They want to put a name brand on you and a set of labels," he explains, referring to record companies. "They want you to adhere to that, and not to go outside of that. That was very clear to me."

Buckingham's artistic reaction to the pressure - we won't go into the pharmaceutical response - was to make Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, an extravagant epic from 1979 that was in many ways a Buckingham solo album. "There were so many things that were exciting me," he says, perking up. "Let's take some risks, let's challenge people." (And, let's rent Dodger Stadium and hire the University of Southern California marching band to play on the title track.) After Tusk, Buckingham eventually began living two musical lives: one, that of the rock icon, for Fleetwood Mac projects; the other, the idiosyncratic cult hero, for his more "esoteric" solo albums. The "big machine" allows for the "little machine" to plug along. "You go through all these things in order to try and walk the line that you want to walk," he says. "With my solo albums, I'm not doing it for somebody else's expectations. You have no expectations of what's going to happen with it, beyond turning it in."

Buckingham is fine with the intermittent tugs from his loose Fleetwood Mac shackles. "It's good," he says, enthusiastically enough. "It's nice to know that that's there." And while he allows that the band members are miles apart in so many conflicting ways, there's something to be said for occasional incompatibility. "There's synergy in diversity."

That kind of mature realization is reflected in Gift of Screws, an album sounding a little like Fleetwood Mac, but from a man wiser for the time without the band. "It's about anybody who ever has to go through that level of success," he says, referring again to Bel Air Rain, "and still try to come out knowing who you are."

Monday, September 29, 2008

Kansas City Review - September 28th

Back To Rockville

The line can get fine between surprise and mystery; there was some of both Sunday night at the Uptown Theater. The surprise: The size of the crowd — about 600 — which was about half the size of the crowd that showed up the last time Lindsey Buckingham was in town.

The mystery: why this guy isn’t regularly included in discussions of great rock guitarists.

He and his three-piece band played for two hours Sunday night. By all measures it was a good show. Sound was great. Nice light show. Great set list. Very entertaining.

I love the Uptown (which will be rocking tonight), but they could have slipped this show into Liberty Hall or the VooDoo and cut out some of the emptiness. The vibe is always a little off when the place is less than half-full.

Buckingham made the most of it. So did his fans, most of whom came as much for the solo material as they did for the Fleetwood Mac nuggets.

He started with two from his new album, “Gift of Screws,” then three tracks that were encore-worthy: “Trouble,” “Go Insane” and “Tusk,” the evening’s first Mac song.

He followed that with another “Tusk” track — a rollicking, amped-up version of “I Know I’m Not Wrong.”

He sent the band off stage towards the middle of the show for a solo/acoustic set that included one of three “Rumors” tracks, “Never Going Back Again,” and one of Fleetwood Mac’s last hits, “Big Love.” He pulled a couple tracks off the “Fleetwood Mac,” too: “I’m So Afraid” and “World Turning.”

The setlist blended plenty of new material with the old. Some of it dovetailed nicely with those Fleetwood Mac songs, especially “Did You Miss Me” and the “Screws” title track, both of which would have fit in perfectly on “Tusk.”

A lot of folks were familiar with those new cuts, but two tracks off “Rumours” got the biggest response: “Go Your Own Way,” which finished the set, and “Second Hand News,” which opened the encore. “News” sounded particularly sweet.

No matter what album or era he visited, Buckingham showed off his inimitable guitar style — plectrum-free — and prowess all night. His fingers are so quick and nimble, he can play rhythm and lead at the same time. During some of his more elaborate instrumentals, it sounded like two people were playing. He makes it look effortless –like a guy who still spends hours a day practicing. At the end of several numbers, he pulled his guitar to his chest and embraced it, as if it were one of his children.

His “smoke-and-mirrors” light show deserves mention for its simplicity and effectiveness: spotlights bouncing off mirrors, often with heavy wisps of fog drifting by in the background. The sound was as good as I’ve heard in the Uptown recently, even with the place about two-thirds empty. This was a show with a big-name, designed and equipped for a big theater. Too bad it didn’t get the kind of crowd it deserved.

Timothy Finn, The Star

Setlist: Great Day, Underground, Love Runs Deeper, Trouble, Go Insane, Tusk, I Know I’m Not Wrong, Gift of Screws, Never Going Back Again, Big Love, Shut Us Down, Under the Skin, Did You Miss Me, Come, World Turning, I’m So Afraid, Go Your Own Way. Encore: Second Hand News, Don’t Look Down, Treason, Time Precious Time.

[Photo Credit: Top Timothy Fin, Bottom two: Lisa1769]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Gift of Screws - LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM (Billboard Review)

Gift of Screws - LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM (Billboard Review)

Billboard Magazine
Lindsey Buckingham once sang about "Never Going Back Again," but he's backtracked—sort of—on his fifth solo album. "Gift of Screws" picks up where the rock auteur left off in the early days of this decade, before he was lured back into the Fleetwood Mac fold for 2003's "Say You Will." Mac minions will find this electric-flavored, band-sounding album pleasing, but there's also the avant ambience that's Buckingham's stock in trade. So while something like "The Right Place to Fade" knocks off Fleetwood Mac's "Second Hand News" and the title cut (one of three recorded with the Mick Fleetwood-John McVie rhythm section) is charging garage rock, "Great Day" sports the stark and primitive sonics of "Tusk" and Buckingham's early solo albums. —Gary

Sunday, September 21, 2008

5th solo album for Buckingham

By Scott Iwasaki
Deseret News
Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008

Lindsey Buckingham, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his band Fleetwood Mac back in 1998, said working on his fifth solo album was "effortless."

"When I did my last album, 'Under the Skin,' it was not a rock album," said Buckingham during a phone call from his home in Los Angeles. "There were no lead guitars, no drum and bass.

"With the new album ('Gift of Screws'), I came into it with songs that rocked," he said. "And that set the precedence."

From there, Buckingham let the music take the reins.

"While getting the songs together, there were a few other songs that I had written a few years ago that wanted to be part of the project. So I let them.

"It all came together easily, even though I was laying down tracks in hotel rooms on a little Korg mixer during my last solo tour," he said.

Making a solo album is a musical vacation for Buckingham.

"I don't have to make a CD for money," he said. "That's one of the luxuries I have with Fleetwood Mac.

"When I make a solo album, it's more to be away from Fleetwood Mac and examine the left side of my palette."

Still, Buckingham knows he will always be connected to the Fleetwood Mac machine. And he even has drummer Mick Fleetwood and bassist John McVie as guests on his new album.

"They are on the recordings of some of the older songs that I had written for the album," said Buckingham. "The album is really a reflection of what I have done throughout my career. And having John and Mick on the album ties that part of my life into the project."
Still, another beauty of making a solo record is not having to answer to anyone but himself, said Buckingham.

"With a band there are politics," he said. "You have to work within a border. And that is challenging."

With that said, however, Buckingham said Fleetwood Mac will be doing some things next year.

"Stevie (Nicks) and I have been talking, and there is some good energy going through the band," he said.

"We've decided that we all need to be nice to each other," he said with a laugh.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Buckingham gets intimate at the Orpheum

by Michael Senft
Sept. 19, 2008
The Arizona Republic

With a new album in stores, Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham returned to the Valley on Thursday, Sept. 18 for an intimate, and loud, show at the Orpheum Theatre.

Although he played many of the same tunes and featured the same three-piece backup band, Thursday night was a sharp contrast from Buckingham’s recent Valley shows in ‘06 and ‘07, which were promoting his primarily acoustic Under the Skin album. This tour featured Buckingham in full guitar god mode, peppering his two-hour set with lengthy solos and plenty of rock star heroics.

The most notable difference came on his older solo tunes Trouble and Go Insane. Both songs have been deconstructed into acoustic numbers on recent solo and Mac tours, but they were given full-band electric treatments this year. And the bombastic Mac tunes which were a little subdued the last time around, blossomed into their chaotic glory - the only thing missing from Tusk was a marching band.

Even the solo acoustic Shut Us Down, from Under the Skin, seemed a bit more powerful.

Despite Buckingham’s new CD, Gift of Screws, only hitting stores on Tuesday, most of the audience was familiar with the material, including the maniacal title track and Did You Miss Me which Buckingham noted was his new radio single. He didn’t seem too confident that it would actually get any airplay, however.

Buckingham turned down the volume in the middle of the show, offering an acoustic set which covered such Fleetwood Mac faves as Never Going Back Again. Big Love - a middling Mac tune in its original full-band form on 1987’s Tango in the Night album, blossomed in the stripped-down setting.

After the acoustic interlude, Buckingham plugged back in and deafened the crowd with a brace of heavier Mac tunes. World Turning featured an intricate drum solo from Walfredo Reyes, while Come, from Mac’s 2004 album Say You Will, featured some snarling lyrics and even more vicious soloing.

But the climax was the majestic I’m So Afraid. The tune has been Buckingham’s showcase for 30 years, and he didn’t disappoint, delivering a 10-minute guitar solo that had the entire theater on its feet. The smash Go Your Own Way was almost a letdown afterwards.

After the high-decibel finale, Buckingham brought the crowd back to Earth with a low-key encore set. The Mac classic Second Hand News was performed in an acoustic band setting, similar to his last appearances, and Don’t Look Down , from Buckingham’s 1993 album Out of the Cradle, was a welcome return to his set.

He finished up the show with a final pair of new tunes, the full band Treason and the gentle Time Precious Time. Unfortunately by that point the casual fans were heading for the parking lot, having heard the Mac hits they came for.

A shame really, because those final songs provided the perfect coda to a spectacular show.

Great Day
Love Runs Deeper
Go Insane
I Know I’m Not Wrong
Gift of Screws
Never Going Back Again
Big Love
Shut Us Down
Under the Skin
Did You Miss Me
World Turning
I’m So Afraid
Go Your Own Way
Second Hand News
Don’t Look Down
Time Precious Time

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Collection of Gift of Screws Reviews

Lindsey Buckingham’s long-in-the-works fifth solo album isn’t a huge departure for the Fleetwood Mac guitarist/vocalist, all skittering, fingerpicked guitar work and vocal overdubs by the Tusk-load.

by Julie Seabaugh
Thu, Sep 18, 2008
Las Vegas Weekly
3.5 Stars

The overdubbed acoustic and Spanish guitars in Time Precious Time are meant to affect a waterfall, and they do a marvelous job. Indeed, the guitar work here is stunning.

by Bill Robertson
The StarPhoenix
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Rating 3 1/2

“Gift of Screws” still showcases plenty of Buckingham’s mesmerizing acoustic finger-picking but there’s also plenty of thump as well, no doubt in part to the guest contributions from his FM mates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie.

by Kevin O’Hare
The Springfield Republican
Thursday September 18, 2008

It’s a bravura performance, one in which Buckingham revels in all of his many skills. Those who love him for his studio wizardry will get a kick out of the wicked-cool opening track, “Great Day,” a seamless blending of muffled percussion, kitschy keyboards, spry acoustic fingerpicking, distorted vocals, and a pair of raging electric guitar solos; he’s practically a one-man symphony.

The Hurst Review
September 18, 2998

Don’t let Buckingham’s wasted, sleep-deprived look on the cover mislead you. On this rocking companion piece to his last studio album, the low-key Under the Skin, Fleetwood Mac’s guitarist and visionary has never sounded more alive.

Montreal Gazette
September 18, 2008

This is probably Lindsey Buckingham’s finest effort since the heyday of Fleetwood Mac. There’s plenty of nifty hooks and blistering guitar solos here that will send people running for their old copies of Rumours.

Graham Rockingham Vancouver
September 18, 2008

Standouts include the lush, reverb-drenched “Underground,” piercing guitar riff-driven “Wait for You,” a jubilant “Right Place to Fade” (think “Second Hand News”; it’s another of the studio wiz’s layered voice extravaganzas), chiming “Did You Miss Me” and the spare, almost gospel-tinged closer “Treason.”

George A. Paul
Inland Empire Weekly
September 18, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Lindsey Buckingham's latest is a 'Gift' indeed

By Mark Brown
Rocky Mountain News
Monday, September 15, 2008

Gift of Screws has taken years and various U-turns to finally make it into stores today. The album became a bit of a legend among Lindsey Buckingham fans when bits of it were played live with Fleetwood Mac in 1997. Bits of it slipped out around 2000, five years after he'd started it.

But the album got derailed twice, first when songs were cannibalized for much of the Fleetwood Mac album Say You Will and again when a few more tracks turned up on Buckingham's solo album Under the Skin.

So, what fans hear now may be far from how this album was conceived all those years ago, but despite coming in dribs and drabs, the finished album is worth the wait.

Out of the Cradle, his third solo album, from 1992, hit the high mark for many Buckingham fans. It kept his quirky nature but mixed in more lush, traditional songwriting in gorgeous tracks like Don't Look Down and You Do or You Don't. His past couple of solo albums have been sparser and more experimental, with Buckingham at times exploring what his fingers could do on the fret board (and how fast they could do it) rather than putting melody first.

That can be fascinating on tracks like the opening Great Day, but the finger-picking style that Buckingham has become partial to over the years can be a bit excessive at times, impressive as it is.

But Gift of Screws comes closer to that Out of the Cradle sound than anything else he's done since. Love Runs Deeper could have found a spot on any Buckingham solo album (and would have sounded great on Say You Will), filled with classic acoustic guitar as well as warm harmonies and sweet, melodic electric leads. Underground could have fit on Rumours or Tusk, a sweet melody with simple voice and guitar.

Gift of Screws gives an explicit idea of where Buckingham's mind is these days. "In my younger days / I was mistaken for a whore / I guess you could say / I lived in chains," Buckingham sings in Bel Air Rain, a slap at the record industry that once championed him but of late has stymied his creativity.

He takes a look at the bigger picture in the title cut, classic off-kilter Buckingham, a rock song pierced with the occasional maniacal laugh and lyrics like "Authority makes us bleed, bleed, bleed ... Authority keeps us down, down, down," and in the equally political closing cut, Treason.

With 10 tight songs and a more focused viewpoint, Gift of Screws ends up being his second-best solo album - very good company to be in.

Lindsey Buckingham
Gift of Screws
Reprise Records
Grade: B

Lindsey Buckingham's 'Gift'

Washington Times

Lindsey Buckingham
Gift of Screws

At every turn, "Gift of Screws" reminds the listener of Lindsey Buckingham's eclectic brand of pop songwriting.

Some of the 10 songs on this new album have been in progress for the better part of a decade. Some reprise themes of songs from the 2003 Fleetwood Mac reunion album, "Say You Will." Rather than sounding like retreads, however, the recordings feel vibrant and contemporary for the most part while retaining the familiar sounds of Mr. Buckingham's virtuosic guitar playing. It's all the more familiar because the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section (Mick Fleetwood on drums, John McVie on bass) joins in on a few tracks.

"Time Precious Time" is an acoustic ballad that opens with a frenzy of finger picking and a soaring vocal line. There is a muddled intensity to it, like a prelude struggling to transform into a theme. The rapid-fire arpeggios race harplike up and down the fret board as the singer repeatedly intones the title.

"Love Runs Deep" opens with an acoustic guitar and quick bass line - and until the electric guitar picks up, it could pass for a semisweet Coldplay song. Then the Fleetwood Mac vibe quickly intrudes in the form of harmonized vocals and a gritty guitar solo.

At 58, Mr. Buckingham seems eager to assert that he hasn't lost a step as a guitarist. He turns in another blisteringly fast acoustic picking effort with "Bel Air Rain," a speedy but downcast minor-key lament. More upbeat is "The Right Place to Fade," which opens with a cheerful cross of acoustic strumming and an electric solo.

The album's title track originally was scheduled for inclusion on "Say You Will." It's a weird, alluring mix of new-wave pop and garage rock with a peculiar squealing chorus that sounds as if it could be a B-52s outtake. It's also oddly out of step with the rest of the album, if only for its punkish bass line and shouted vocals.

"Did You Miss Me" is the most memorable track on "Gift of Screws."With its distinctively Coldplay-like intro, it's a sweet and rueful pop song with honeyed accents concealing a bitter core. (Indeed, the resemblance at times is so pronounced that it might be worth inspecting Chris Martin.) On the chorus, plucked guitar notes play over the rhythm guitar like a bell sounding over an orchestra. Mr. Buckingham sings, "Did you miss me/ In the evening/ When everyone is bound to dream?"

Fans probably didn't miss Mr. Buckingham all that much. He weighed in just two years ago with the impressive acoustic album "Under the Skin." If anything, "Gift of Screws" is a more impressive outing. It's typical of older rockers to return to the spirit of their glory days on late-career albums. It's impressive, then, that Mr. Buckingham has produced a recording that looks forward as much as it looks back.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Gift of Screws is a 'cobbled-together bunch of leftovers'

Lindsey re-gifts
Gift of Screws is a 'cobbled-together bunch of leftovers'
Winnipeg Sun

Gift of Screws
Sun Rating: 2 1/2 out of 5

Sometimes, you have to look a gift horse in the mouth -- if you don't want to get screwed, that is.
Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham's fifth solo CD seems like one of those occasions. As he admits in a press release: "This album is a distillation of a number of periods of time, some false starts to make albums, certainly some songs that go back a number of years, that took a while to find a home here, combined with brand-new songs and a whole other outlook."

Translation: It's a cobbled-together bunch of leftovers, demos and fleshed-out ideas -- some cut at home and on the road in the wake of his 2006 CD Under the Skin, with others dating back perhaps as far as 2001, when the album title Gift of Screws became a rumour in the Lindseysphere.

But even if it's mostly secondhand news, it's not all bad news. Buckingham also claims this disc rocks more than his last one. And it does -- on the cuts that feature Mac bassist John McVie and drummer Mick Fleetwood. The rest of the time, it's all about Lindsey, his spiderwebby vocals and his precise, intricate guitar work.

Sure, it has its moments. But frankly, most of these tracks sound more like technical exercises and home-studio experiments than songs. So unless you want to pay to hear Buckingham dump out his hard drive, you might want to go your own way.

Great Day 3:12
Over a bare-bones beatbox that sets a brisk pace, Lindsey layers gently throbbing arpeggios and flamenco flourishes with his acoustic guitar, crowning the affair with echoing vocals.

Time Precious Time 4:25
Buckingham fingerpicks at breakneck speed, stitching together a needlepoint backdrop for another echoing vocal line. This one sounds like Peter Gabriel and Robert Fripp.

Did You Miss Me 3:55
Finally, an actual song -- a slice of breezy, bittersweet California folk-pop complete with a suitably laid-back beat, a chiming guitar line and an actual chorus.

Wait for You 4:58
Fleetwood and McVie boogie on the bottom while Lindsey slings some bluesy juke-joint slide licks and brays like Stevie Nicks. A nice hypnotic groove in search of a bigger hook.

Love Runs Deeper 3:56
It starts out an understated, strummy little pop ditty -- then busts open on the chorus into a big Mac-style acoustic rocker. Not brilliant, but not half bad either.

Bel Air Rain 3:49
The cascading waterfall of glistening tones that flows from Buckingham's flying fingers is superb. The rainstick and soaring vocals, not so much. Enough with the echo, already.

The Right Place to Fade 4:02
Another decent acoustic rocker, with a lilting melody, memorable hooks and (we presume) another visit from McVie and Fleetwood. This one could end up on a Mac album.

Gift of Screws 2:52
A scrappy number that walks the line between British Invasion pop and garage-rock. It's not bad -- until Buckingham begins laughing like a hyena in the chorus.

Underground 2:58
Dreamy and wistful without being too ethereal, this folk-pop number features a throbbing guitar and some quietly popping percussion.

Treason 4:26
After all that frantic fingerpicking, Buckingham finally runs out of steam, lazily strumming his way through this downbeat, Dylanesque folk-rock ballad.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Lindsey Buckingham still rocks

Rollingstone Magazine
(3.5 stars out of 5)

On this album's opener, "Great Day," there's an electric-guitar solo so blowtorch-hot, it seems specifically designed to bitch-slap anyone with the nerve to wonder if Lindsey Buckingham still rocks.

Buckingham's 2006 comeback, Under the Skin, was largely a reflective, parlor-room affair, full of self-doubt and dazzling acoustic playing, and here, the mood is still darkly introspective: "Suicide days, suicide, suicide nights/In the wheelchair almost blind," he sings on "Wait for You." But the sound under him is a wild roadhouse blues with the signature groove of old bandmates Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. Fleetwood's drumming also powers "The Right Place to Fade," a classic Mac-style hook barrage with a strummy "Go Your Own Way" gallop and a head-kicking harmony chorus.

Elsewhere, things are more subdued: "Time Precious Time" is a spiraling incantation that's nearly psych folk. Old rubberneckers may ponder whether songs like "Did You Miss Me" address Buckingham's former paramour Stevie Nicks. But who cares? What matters here isn't that he used to be in Fleetwood Mac — it's that he can still make music nearly as bright.