on 17 September 2008
Being a massive fan of Fleetwood Mac and the various "solo" elements within the band, I bought this album on the day it was released and have played nothing else since.
For me, Lindsey Buckingham can do no wrong.
What staggers me, is that after 35 years or so, he's still producing work of this quality when so many others have fallen by the wayside, or, are relying on past glories.
What's more, inspite of working within familiar "Mac" harmonic/structural frameworks, he's still able to make it sound so fresh, even when treading well worked progressions etc.
All the usual stuff is here, the intricate guitar work, the layered vocal textures, the holding of long notes vocally and instrumentally over changing harmonies, he's been doing this stuff since the "Buckingham/Nicks" album, but who cares?
No one else has done it so well and as he once said of Stevie Nicks when she was criticized for "only knowing 3 chords".."yes but they're the right 3 chords" and he has a bigger harmonic vocabulary than Stevie Nicks!
The guitar work is, as always, outstanding, so much so, that it always frustrates me as to why this man isn't spoken of with the sort of reverence normally reserved for the likes of Hendrix and Clapton.
Buckingham uses the guitar in so many innovative ways, but mostly in his, almost unique, ability to create songs using a variety of small and, on their own, seemingly insignificant, guitar motifs, which, when combined, create the sound, which is, unmistakenly, his own.
He never, IMO, sinks into the sort of self indulgence which you get from countless "guitar heros", resulting in his guitar solos being well thought out, planned and fitting to the needs of the song, which means that, although he can do the "fireworks" like the best of them, he's not afraid to sound "simplistic," as can be seen in many of his songs on previous solo efforts and with Fleetwood Mac, but is amply demonstrated on this album with the last two songs:
"Underground" & "Treason"
A number of these songs have been available for some time as "bootlegs" on the net, but I'm pleased to see that he's added some newer material which I'd not heard previously.
I can't find fault with any of the songs but I love particularly:
The explosiveness of "Love Runs Deeper"
The references to "Play In The Rain," from "Go Insane" which can be heard in "Bel Air Rain"..
The "son" of "Second Hand News," which is "The Right Place To Fade", though I'm a little mystified as to why it's not entitled "The Right Twist Of Fate," as it is on the "bootleg" versions!
All in all, this album has been more than worth the wait..and, having managed to see Fleetwood Mac for the first time ever a few years back, who were phenomenal and totally professional, this more than fills the gap between "Say You Will," and, hopefully their next effort, which will, hopefully, include Christine McVie.
If you're a Mac fan and are missing them, then I'd thoroughly recommend this!