Winston Salem Journal Now (Relish) Review: Under the Skin
Lindsey Buckingham Under The Skin
If you like: Lindsey Buckingham, older, different, wiser
Song to download: "Not Too Late"
Lindsey Buckingham's Under The Skin, 14 years in the making, will give pause to any fan enamored with his considerable skills as a singer, songwriter, guitarist and producer during his platinum-plated pop years with Fleetwood Mac in the 1970s.
Granted, Buckingham has always nurtured a quirky side, reveling in seducing through sonic surprises (i.e. "Tusk"). But fans may still expect more than what Skin seems to offer - largely solo acoustic songs drenched in enough reverb to make one yearn for the relative restraint of Phil Spector.
But keep listening. The reverb's dreaminess bolsters the vibe of songs that reflect on past mistakes, present realizations and future dreams. "Not Too Late" - perhaps the most emotionally raw song of Buckingham's career - is driven by the truly astonishing urgent finger-picked guitar and possessed singing that have long been Buckingham's calling cards.
The solo format shores the raw intimacy of fine songs that could easily have been fleshed out to meet profit-generating pop expectation. That Buckingham chose not to decorate said songs braces his desire to make an album that breaks from his past to celebrate a settled present.
Songs celebrate romantic stability and fatherhood, even as they question motives, probe past misfires and search for answers. But at heart, these songs - quiet but forceful, pushed at the listener through production techniques - are the sound of a troubled man who has finally found the peace for which he has searched - not the indulgence of the rock-star life, but through the simplicity of love and home.
Under The Skin is a world away from Fleetwood Mac and it has little in common with Buckingham's previous solo albums. But, true to the title, it does get under the skin in a way that slowly enchants listeners.
- Ed Bumgardner
relish staff writer
2006-10-19 Number of views: