Because of prior biases about Buckingham's association with Fleetwood Mac--I was one of those people who thought Fleetwood Mac died when Peter Green had enough with the band--I discounted their contribution to Pop music in the Eighties, and missed out completely on the immense talent this guy has shown for so many years.
Still, this review is no apology for past sins but passionate recognition of what this album, by itself and in its own right, has to offer. This is a gorgeous set of compositions, from a man whose songcraft has been among the most adventurous and refined for over twenty years, and one of the few people worthy of being considered as a heir to Brian Wilson's songwriting genius.
This is the work of an intense mind, a complicated man who has found some hard-earned peace in building a family and finding his center, beyond the haze and paranoia of his prolonged voyage into cocaine hell. I know some people may find this fact reason to worry about potential self-indulgence or lukewarm writing. Yet, this is not the case here, Buckingham has put together a set of string songs, perhaps less manicured and driven by his legendary perfectionism from prior releases.
Is this a masterpiece, his masterpiece? I don't know and, besides, that would be more a debate about taste than a matter of scientific proof. After all, the difference between maturity and complacency lies on one's definition, more than as a result of ascribing to some universal law. Whatever you might think, this is a strong, undeniable five-star work.
Castaway Dreams, I Am Waiting, Under The Skin, Not Too Late--particularly the last couple of minutes--are just some of the examples why these tracks could be the pride of any contemporary songwriter. Then there's the business of production and arrangements, and they are as dead-on and always, although he's said that he wanted this album to be recorded more spontaneously these songs are carefully put together. They could only be considered "rough" against the pristine sound and obsession for detail of prior records.
2006 just got a new addition to its list of gems.
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