Los Angeles Times (10/25/81), Lindsey Buckingham's "Law and Order"
Los Angeles Times
Sunday, October 25, 1981
Lindsey Buckingham’s “Law and Order”
by Robert Hilburn
Buckingham has been overshadowed by Christine McVie and Stevie Nicks, but he is the most interesting member of Fleetwood Mac -- a fact he underscored by spearheading the group’s adventurous advances on “Tusk.” In his first solo album, Buckingham continues to explore many of the eccentric rhythms of that LP, mixing them with some of his affection for pre-'70s rock.
Mick Fleetwood and Christine McVie join on one track each, but “Law and Order” is largely a one-man project with Buckingham playing most of the instruments and contributing some especially inviting harmonies. At times, the album has the ragged, spontaneous feel of someone working in a chemistry lab and being amazed at just how the elements interact, but there’s a charm in the approach that’s in keeping with the innocence of Buckingham’s late-'50s and early-’60s influences. Innocence, in fact, is the album’s main theme.
Both in his own tunes and in the three carefully chosen remakes, Buckingham explores innocence from various age perspectives, suggesting the differences between the puppy love melodrama of youth (Skip & Flip’s old “It Was I”) and the gentler, nostalgic qualities of advanced years (Maxwell Anderson and Kurt Weill’s familiar “September Song”) is more one of intensity than passion.
Buckingham’s “Trouble,’ an especially engaging track, mixes the soothing strains of Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” period with the shy sexual advances of a young Presley, “Mary Lee Jones” is filled with the high-strung emotions upon which teen dreams (and heartbreaks) are based. In “I’ll Tell You Now” Buckingham touches on similar romantic longing, but shifts to an older, less desperate viewpoint.
Not all of “Law and Order” works -- “That’s How We Do It In L.A.” is goofy without being fun and the jarring “Johnny Stew” is ill-focused -- but the heart of the album offers a combination of exciting musical experimentation and unabashed, uplifting emotion that is reminiscent of the best work of the late Gram Parsons. A bold, endearing album. YES.
1981-10-25 Number of views: