Lindsey Buckingham – Under The Skin – More Reviews

Lindsey Buckingham: Under the Skin
The Guardian (UK)
Mat Snow
Friday September 29, 2006

Lindsey Buckingham, Fleetwood Mac’s dominant songwriter for 32 years, is a pop genius: his sunny harmonies pull you one way while an undercurrent of anguish tugs you the other. His extra-curricular work has always been intriguing, and this fourth solo album is a small masterpiece of tightly balanced musical contrasts. Buckingham’s filigreed melodies echo such heroes of his youth as the Byrds and Donovan; in a voice more echo-drenched and multi-tracked than any since John Lennon’s, he tremulously exhales such lines as “My children look away, they don’t know what to say,” only to burst into the yearning rapture of “It’s not too late.” As spacious as Buckingham’s native California yet as fraught with unease, this is another gripping postcard from the edge of paradise.

Lindsey Buckingham
Under the Skin
The Times (UK)
September 29, 2006

The Fleetwood Mac guitarist’s stripped-down acoustic album is luxuriant rather than austere. Sparse arrangements boast lush harmonies, while the imaginative production drapes Buckingham’s whine in eerie reverb. It works, though. High spots include the frenetic fingerpicking of Not too Late, the sunny Show You How and the howling Flying Down Juniper, evocative of Fred Neil and Tim Buckley.

Lindsey Buckingham
Under the Skin (Reprise) £12.99

The Observer
Sunday October 1, 2006

If Fleetwood Mac are a guilty pleasure, enjoying a solo album by their former guitarist should be a heinous crime. But there’s little MOR bombast on Lindsey Buckingham’s fourth solo record; these are dusty redemption songs which draw on the sparest of elements. ‘Show You How’ summons and sustains a groove with little more than a guitar and cleverly layered vocals. And ‘Under the Skin’ builds on a simple, strummed motif with Buckingham’s voice shimmering beautifully like a heat-haze. When he does at last display his knack for the heroic chorus, he unleashes another aspect of a singular musical talent.

Ally Carnwath
Entertainment Weekly
October 6, 2006
Issue 900

Section: THE REVIEWS: MUSIC ‘Skin’ Tight


A gloriously unhinged return from Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham .

Lindsey Buckingham Under the Skin (Reprise) Rock

In the opening minutes of Under the Skin, Lindsey Buckingham sings of “visions always deferred,” alluding to 14 years passing since his last solo album. He’s griped that every time he gets one under way, Fleetwood Mac bandmates rope him into another reunion, cannibalizing his song stockpile. So if these songs lean toward his eccentric side, maybe that was intended as an early defensive measure against any further Mac attacks.

Skin is high-concept in that it’s theoretically stripped-down, consisting almost entirely of Buckingham’s voice and acoustic guitar. But he’s too much the Brian Wilson-worshipping studio maestro not to multitrack that voice into nearly choral rounds of oddly punctuated pop harmonies, and he’ll certainly use the marvels of engineering to make those nylon strings sound deliriously big. It might be acoustic, but the last thing you’d call it is unplugged.

Unhinged? Sure. Some lyrics recall his most neurotic LP, 1984’s aptly titled Go Insane; other times, he’s a newly placid family man, or trying (“a madman… looking for paradise”). But on this album, quieter means less gentle: His fingerpicking is impossibly frantic in its nervous virtuosity, and each near-whisper is miked to sound like a scream. It’s the spartan-yet-gonzo sound of a guy remembering he can go his own way. B+

Nashville Scene
Saturday 7th Oct 2006 live at The Ryman Auditorium

Our Critics Picks:

Lindsey Buckingham is at once a driving force behind one of the most successful commercial enterprises in rock music and an idiosyncratic cult artist. As a singer, songwriter and producer in Fleetwood Mac for most of the last 32 years, he wrote classics like “Go Your Own Way” and “Second Hand News,” while helping to shape the songs of bandmates Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie into irresistible ear candy. But the eccentricity of his work on Mac albums like Tusk and Say You Will only hints at the singularity of vision heard on his first solo album in 14 years. On Under the Skin, Buckingham buttresses his reputation as a pop visionary by orchestrating very basic elements—mainly voice, acoustic guitar and percussion—to create a textured sonic picture unlike any he could have painted at his day job. Casual fans—i.e., you own Rumours but not Tusk—might want to wait this one out: Buckingham is planning a more rock-oriented album and tour next year, followed by a Fleetwood Mac road trip in 2008.

Lindsey Buckingham: Gone His Own Way I New York Times, Sept 2006

Who’s that strange new folkie? It’s Lindsey Buckingham, the brain of Fleetwood Mac. 29th 2006
New York Times
By Jay Ruttenberg

“Reading the paper, saw a review,” Lindsey Buckingham sings at the outset of his new album, Under the Skin. “Said I was a visionary, but nobody knew.” The song ends on a punch line—”You should never believe what you read”—but its reviewer actually makes a valid argument. Despite his membership in Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham himself has long been accorded the status of a cult artist: beloved by music nerds, but a shadow next to the band’s iconic singer, Stevie Nicks.

Considering that Fleetwood Mac has sold more than 100 million records, this is a strange oversight. After all, Buckingham wasn’t just some backroom knob-twister! He was the guitarist with the bushy Afro and perennially exposed chest hair, one of the quintet’s three dynamite singer-songwriters, and the production wizard behind the hazy soft rock that came to symbolize ’70s Los Angeles. Most critically, he was the man who broke Nicks’s heart—or was it the other way around?—giving birth to the notion of rock band as soap opera, as well as 1977’s megaselling Rumours.

That album will always define Fleetwood Mac. Yet Buckingham’s own legacy may rest with a different work: Tusk, the sprawling, marching-band-adorned follow-up to Rumours, a sort of Paul’s Boutique or Kid A of its day. “Can you imagine us delivering that album to the record company?” asks Buckingham, 58, speaking from L.A. after putting his kids on the school bus. “Even within the band it was difficult for me. [Drummer] Mick Fleetwood will now say that Tusk is his favorite album—but that took a long time. After it came out and wasn’t a 16-million-copy seller, there were politics within the band that said we weren’t going to make records like it anymore. I probably never would have made solo albums had there not been that limitation.”

Flash-forward a few decades, and Buckingham remains on the path paved by Tusk. Recorded mostly in hotel rooms while the singer was on a Fleetwood Mac reunion tour, Under the Skin is intimate and spare, with masterful acoustic picking and percussion consisting of Buckingham beating on a chair. “Hopefully it’s only a step above sitting in the living room playing guitar for somebody,” he says. “I was trying to return to my center, which is the folk medium.” Ironically, in reaching back to old folkies, Buckingham has achieved a sound that’s very much in accordance with contemporary West Coast artists like Joanna Newsom and Devendra Banhart; even without trying, this guy has an ear tuned to his era.

Skin is Buckingham’s first solo album since 1992, the year Bill Clinton borrowed Fleetwood Mac’s “Don’t Stop” as his campaign anthem. These two events are not unrelated. Buckingham, who had angrily left the band in ’87, rejoined when they were summoned to perform at Clinton’s inaugural gala. Ever since, the guitarist has had a boomerang relationship with the group reminiscent of Michael Corleone’s bond to the mafia. “It’s like a black hole that pulls me in,” he says. Before the quintet’s ’97 reunion, “we had dinner at [singer] Christine McVie’s house. Everyone literally stood around me in a circle, as if it was an intervention, saying, ‘We’ve got to do this!’ But these are people that I love—I don’t take it lightly.”

The handsome, late-summer mistiness of Skin is a far cry from Fleetwood Mac’s rote reunion material, and Buckingham doesn’t hesitate to say which lies closer to his heart. But he also credits his return to the group with allowing him to grasp his past and arrive at his current work. “It took a long time for me to get over many things,” Buckingham says. “I think it took a long time for me to get over Stevie. It took time for me to come to terms with this huge success we had, which in my mind didn’t seem connected to anything that we were doing. But I’m a family member now and can be friends with the band in a way that I never was before. I’ve come to a point where I’m refining my craft—it doesn’t feel like I’m marking time or sliding down. It feels like an ongoing process of growth.”

Buckingham Readies One Album, Finishing Another…


September 07, 2006, 6:05 PM ET
Jonathan Cohen, N.Y.
Billboard Magazine

Fleetwood Mac guitarist Lindsey Buckingham will release his first solo album in 14 years next month. Due Oct. 3 via Reprise, “Under the Skin” includes two tracks featuring the Fleetwood Mac rhythm section of Mick Fleetwood and John McVie. The other eight tracks find Buckingham generating all the rhythm simply via his own percussive guitar playing.

“It’s something I’ve been interested in for a long time: trying to distill down the essence of that certain thing I do,” the artist tells “I want to still have it sound like a record, but very much in the spirit of someone sitting and playing guitar.”

Buckingham wrote most of the material for “In This Skin” while on the road with Fleetwood Mac in support of its 2003 comeback album, “Say You Will,” and looked to his own life for lyrical inspiration. “It gets into a more bare-bones look at what’s going on with me after all this time,” says Buckingham, who at 57 now has three young children. “I’ve finally gotten married and am slowly shedding the dysfunctional thing everyone in the band seemed to have emotionally.”

The guitarist is also well into work on another new record, which will focus more on electric guitar-driven rock. Label execs initially asked Buckingham to include some of this material on “Under the Skin,” but “I feel it has much more integrity by keeping it held back in the way it is. It seemed to be more truthful in terms of what the songs were saying and what I was trying to look at.”

Eight songs are complete for the second album, due sometime next year, although Buckingham says he may re-record some of them with a yet-to-be-chosen producer once he finishes a fall tour in support of “Under This Skin.” The outing, which is only his second solo trek ever, kicks off Oct. 6 in Atlanta.

Buckingham will be backed on the road by Fleetwood Mac percussionist Taku Hirano and guitarist Neal Haywood, plus guitarist/keyboardist Brett Tuggle. The set list is still coming together, but Buckingham speculates the show will be broken into three sections: “one with me out there by myself, another with the band but you hold a line in terms of the kind of material and the last section, where you’d rock it.”

As for the status of Fleetwood Mac, Buckingham says he and the other band members are all up for future touring but unsure if any recording is in the cards.

“It’s important that we end up in a place where we are good, as a group of people,” he observes, “A place where all the politics are left behind for what’s really real. Despite what has gone on, this is a group of people I’ll know as well as anyone I’ll ever know except my family. I’ve been through more with them than I’ve ever been through with my own family [laughs]. I’d love to see that continue. It’s a matter of everybody somehow moving toward the center a little bit, and that means me too.”