Lindsey Buckingham’s approach to writing and recording resembles the vibrant colors of a painter’s brushwork but using multiple layers of guitars and vocals instead. On his self-titled seventh solo album — and first since 2011 — he performed, produced and engineered the songs at his home studio, which give these honeyed melodies a cohesive intimacy.
The material originally developed in 2017 with plans to release it and tour the next year. Those plans abruptly changed after he was fired from Fleetwood Mac, who haven’t put out a studio album since 2003. Instead, he played concerts to promote a solo compilation while his former bandmates brought in Mike Campbell and Neil Finn to replace him for a series of arena dates. The following winter he needed triple bypass heart surgery, which reportedly damaged his vocal cords. Fully recovered, Buckingham shows no lingering signs from that health scare.
After becoming a major creative force in Fleetwood Mac with the band’s 1975 self-titled album, the 71-year-old’s pop songcraft has become recognizable yet Lindsey Buckingham finds him continuing to push the music forward in communion with making it infinitely listenable for spin after spin after spin. The album’s 10 tracks – eight written solely by him — feature his identifiable guitar work – a combination of fingerpicking and strumming without a pick — and velvety vocal layering.
Opening with the rollicking rolling “Scream,” the rhythm and guitar riff playfully build to its amorous chorus, “Oh, I love you when you scream.” “I Don’t Mind” offers a nod to the challenges of relationships while “On the Wrong Side” reflects on being a part of the never-ending drama in Fleetwood Mac. Both tunes have the production atmosphere of classic Mac tracks that, unfortunately, were never recorded. Undeterred, Buckingham brought them to fruition under his own moniker.
Thankfully, it’s his determination to continue pursuing activities as a musical artist that give us pop treasures like his latest release.