Torrance California Daily Breeze Under the Skin Review
"UNDER THE SKIN" REPRISE THREE AND A HALF STARS
Fleetwood Mac was a floundering British blues band when Californians Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham joined in 1975.
Buckingham's skills as a songwriter and a guitarist sparked the band to unprecedented heights, to which he reacted by making "Tusk," a risk-taking, fan-confounding double album released at the peak of Fleetwood Mac's success.
What then seemed so stubbornly offbeat merely turned out to be Buckingham disregarding the dictates of the mainstream to follow the sounds he heard in his head, something he continued to do on three solo albums.
Now, 14 years after his last one, "Out of the Cradle," Buckingham continues to produce stirringly original music on solo album No. 4.
The mostly acoustic "Under the Skin" contains minimal gems such as the shimmering title track and "Show You How," with its surprising splash of complex vocal harmonies on the chorus and during the coda.
"I Am Waiting" is an appropriately baroque reading of the Rolling Stones tune from "Aftermath" that strips it of its 1960s associations in order to revel in the superb song lurking beneath.
Then there's the ballad "Cast Away Dreams," one of the most drop-dead gorgeous tracks Buckingham has ever come up with, and that's saying something for the man who has written so many.
"Under the Sun" is bursting with invention, from Buckingham's unusual hammering guitar style to the quirky vocal arrangements and unusual production touches. Rarely has "easy listening" been this challenging -- or rewarding.
2006-10-20 Number of views: