Lindsey Buckingham - Under the Skin

Lindsey Buckingham
Under the Skin


First Appeared in The Music Box, October 2006, Volume 13, #10

Written by John Metzger


By now, fans of Lindsey Buckingham’s work with Fleetwood Mac likely have grown accustomed to the quirky, experimental textures that he typically has applied to his solo outings. In that regard, his latest effort Under the Skin is no different. Filled with hushed, airy vocals and frantically finger-picked acoustic guitar patterns, the collection, which has been in the making for 14 years, subverts Buckingham’s shimmering pop melodies by placing them inside a series of lo-fi, indie-folk arrangements that are worthy of John Fahey. On the title track, for example, he allows his melancholy intonations to glide with wispy etherealness across his sunny strums of guitar, and the resulting juxtaposition of light and dark, joy and sorrow creates a tension that Devendra Banhart and Sufjan Stevens would kill to possess. Elsewhere, Buckingham sends intricate arpeggios to skip lightly across the surface of his haunting, Ollabelle-inspired cover of the Rolling Stones’ I Am Waiting; the darting harmonies that grace the reggae-tinted It Was You are as richly ornamental as those that were crafted by Brian Wilson on The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds; and the bent melodic structure of Cast Away Dreams is reminiscent of the twisted, Beatle-esque atmospheres that have been proffered by T Bone Burnett. Although several songs, such as Show You How and Down on Rodeo — the latter of which features guest appearances by Mick Fleetwood and John McVie — lean a little more in the direction of Buckingham’s primary outfit, they also are stripped to their barest essence and reconstructed as minimalist masterpieces. While Under the Skin might not be as instantly gratifying as Fleetwood Mac’s radio-friendly ruminations, the emotional intimacy that is painted by Buckingham’s ambient production technique transforms the endeavor into something that is equally resonant. starstarstarstar


Of Further Interest...

Lindsey Buckingham - Gift of Screws

John Fahey - The Yellow Princess

Mick Fleetwood Band - Something Big


Under the Skin is available from Barnes & Noble.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!


Copyright © 2006 The Music Box