Lindsey Buckingham - Gift of Screws Review
by Kevin Wierzbicki
Buckingham has put out half a dozen solo albums now but none of those efforts, however successful, reached the heights attained by Fleetwood Mac during his tenure with that group. It's been widely accepted at this point that Buckingham was/is the mastermind behind the Mac and he's come right out and stated that he considers the band's Tusk album to in reality be his first solo effort. That sentiment is flipped around on Gift of Screws, where as a solo artist Buckingham has made his most Fleetwood Mac-like album. Buckingham tunes into the Mac vibe right from the get-go, leading off the album with a mash-up of "Tusk" and "World Turning" called "Great Day." "Time Precious Time" features a haunting, breathy vocal as Buckingham contemplates the inevitability of aging while rapidly finger-picking his acoustic guitar, creating a sparkling waterfall of notes that slip by as quickly as the days of our lives. Unlike most of the album, "Time Precious Time" is not a radio-ready sing-along but it is a reminder that Buckingham's musicianship goes far beyond his penchant for crafting hit singles. "Did You Miss Me," on the other hand, has the classic Fleetwood Mac sound and the listener can't help but think that either Stevie Nicks or Christine McVie is going to chime in on vocals at any moment. "Wait for You," "The Right Place to Fade" and "Love Runs Deeper" all could have fit nicely on Rumours or Fleetwood Mac. So could have the introspective "Bel Air Rain," another acoustic guitar and spectral vocal showcase where Buckingham refers to having "gone insane," perhaps a reference to the personal problems suffered by the members of Fleetwood Mac or to the same lifestyle that inspired his Go Insane album. A couple of cuts later Buckingham sounds like he actually has gone mad, faux laughing hysterically on the lyrically vague rave-up "Gift of Screws." The cackle though, really is appropriate. As mad scientists of pop music go, Buckingham is working in a lab all his own.
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