Lindsey Buckingham – Out of the Cradle review | The Independent

RECORDS / The smug and the paranoid:
Lindsey Buckingham – Out of the Cradle (Mercury 512 658-2)
Glenn Frey – Strange Weather (MCA MCD10599)

WHEN the former creative mainsprings of mega-grossing West Coast harmony groups get round to releasing solo albums, the potential smugness quotient can reach toxic levels. At its worst, it’s as if commercial success afforded a greater insight into world problems and higher consciousness than that of mere mortals. The situation is just about avoided here by Buckingham (Fleetwood Mac), but is vaulted into feet-first by Frey (The Eagles).

Other strange coincidences link the two: both, for instance, work with a sole collaborator; and both choose to preface some of their songs with little instrumental preludes which serve as plinths, the better to gaze upon the ensuing artwork. Both, too, claim their current albums showcase their guitar work more than previous outings. But from there, the two diverge, their musical differences signalled by their widely differing characters.

Frey is an outdoors kinda guy, an all-skiing, all-golfing, home- run-hitting sports nut whose obsession with games has run to caddying on the PGA tour and appearing on sports programmes as a trivia buff. The view from his Colorado home is reassuringly straightforward, comprising routine social griping like ‘Love in the 21st Century’ (impersonal sex); tired old sex-as-food metaphors like ‘Delicious’; and escapist fantasies like ‘River of Dreams’. At its most aware, a song like ‘He Took Advantage (Blues for Ronald Reagan)’ begins as a standard lament for love betrayed, and ends with a conclusion specifically aimed at ol’ sleepyhead: ‘And now he’s walking away / He doesn’t care what we say / We weren’t too hard to deceive / We wanted so to believe’. At its least aware, ‘I’ve Got Mine’ is Frey’s ‘Another Day in Paradise’, a scold for the rich in a world marked by poverty, another case of blasting away at one’s own foot in the name of self- righteousness.

Buckingham, on the other hand, is a shy, reclusive type. Many of his songs deal with loneliness and paranoia, without making grand claims for themselves as lessons to set the world to rights. Musically, Out of the Cradle is more varied and interesting than Strange Weather (and the last Fleetwood Mac LP, come to that), ranging from the Chris Isaak- styled rock classicism of ‘Street of Dreams’ to the Latin pop of ‘Soul Drifter’, an almost too deliberate stab at a summer-holiday song. There’s even a lighter re-run of Buckingham’s ‘Big Love’ riff, for a song called ‘Doing What I Can’ – which is only fair do’s, seeing as the original was a solo piece generously donated to keep the Mac’s Tango in the Night afloat.

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Lindsey Buckingham: Out Of The Cradle Review | People Weekly

People Weekly, July 6, 1992
Out of the Cradle. (sound recording reviews)
By Craig Tomashoff.

OUT OF THE CRADLE by Lindsey Buckingham

Out Of The Cradle

You could drive a convertible down a bucolic country road on a sparkling summer day. You could take a stroll along an unspoiled tropical beach on a starry night. Or you could settle into your favorite chair and listen to this third solo outing from Lindsey Buckingham, former guitarist of the late unlamented supergroup Fleetwood Mac. Whichever you choose, you’ll soon be feeling that, despite its bad publicity, earth isn’t such a bad place after all.

Nobody in pop music these days creates better feel-good melodies than Buckingham (who wrote or cowrote 11 of the 13 songs here, including six with partner Richard Dashut). The only bad thing you can say about the project is that it took too long to arrive: It’s been eight years since Buckingham released his last solo record (Go Insane), five since he left Fleetwood Mac. If Out of the Cradle has had an unusually long gestation, it’s a very healthy baby.

The record is enhanced by quirky guitar intros and songs brimming with the sort of aural oddities that mark Buckingham’s style. Familiar and fetching hooks are turned into something new, thanks to the thick layer of guitar effects that replicate everything from harp to mandolin to power drill. Whether the song skips along like the sweet-natured, Top 40-friendly “Don’t Look Down” and “Countdown” or crawls like the quiet and contemplative “All My Sorrows” and “Streets of Dreams,” the melodies nuzzle up irresistibly against your brain. Buckingham titled Out of the Cradle well. Not only is his career reborn, the music has all the innocence, charm and energy of a toddler. (Reprise)

CRAIG TOMASHOFF
Review Grade: B