Gift of Screwsby Lindsey Buckingham
Two studio albums in three years may not seem to be a breakneck pace for anybody else, but for Lindsey Buckingham it is no less than pure acceleration. Indeed if we include the live album that came out in 2007 between the two, it's like three outings in as many years -- warp speed for an artist like Buckingham who has been known to go more than a decade between his own offerings outside of Fleetwood Mac. On 2006's Under the Skin, Buckingham issued a soft-spoken songwriter's disc. It was all acoustic, deeply reflective, poignant, profound, and drenched in beauty. It was also criminally under-noticed. Somewhere he promised he'd release an electric rock record in the future. Gift of Screws (referencing the poetry of Emily Dickinson) may not be all the way there, but more often than not it offers the kind of rocking, heady electric pop he's known for, as well as some glorious, lyrically sophisticated, acoustic singer/songwriter fare that bears his signature alone. Some of these tracks were written for an aborted session begun in the 1990s. Still others made it onto the Mac's Say You Will, and still others are brand-spanking new. The set opens with "Great Day," a pulsing, urgent, minor-key rocker that blends electric and acoustic guitars, organic and electronic percussion, and some hushed keyboards. It explodes near the end with a scorching, burn-up-the-wire guitar solo he usually only plays live. "Did You Miss Me?," written with wife Kristen Buckingham and featuring drums by Walfredo Reyes, could have appeared on any of Fleetwood Mac's blissed-out, bittersweet '70s recordings. The weave of guitars, layered backing vocals, and drop-dead catchy chorus is pure Buckingham. Mick Fleetwood and John McVie are the rhythm section on the rumbling multi-dimensional blues-winder "Wait for Me," which also offers more evidence of the guitar slinger emerging from the shadows to take place center stage before giving way to a dense multi-textured chorus that transcends the blues without leaving them for dead. Fleetwood also adds drums to "The Right Place to Fade," with bassist John Pierce. Acoustic guitars meld enormous power chords and stinging lead fills in a frenetically paced pop song. Along the way, there are hesitant, confessional, acoustically orchestrated songs where the darkness almost swallows the light as in "Bel Air Rain." The wall of strings fingerpicking style adds to the emotional heft of songs like "Time Precious Time," especially as the vocal effects give the sound a nearly three-dimensional quality. The title track is a balls-out rocker that places '60s rave-up garage rock up against '70s glam in a storm of guitars and clattering drums. The closer, "Treason," is a dignified near-anthemic pop song with a gospel chorus that is unlike any song Buckingham's written before and sends the set out in a very elegant and deeply moving way. What it all means is simple: that Buckingham is not only still relevant, but he's also a pioneer in terms of craft, execution, and production, and has plenty to teach the current generation about making excellent records and never resting on your laurels. Gift of Screws is a standout even in his catalog.
- Release Date:
- Reprise / Wea
Performance CreditsLindsey Buckingham Primary Artist,Track Performer
Mick Fleetwood Percussion,Drums
John McVie Bass
Walfredo Reyes Drums
John Pierce Bass
Technical CreditsLindsey Buckingham Composer,Producer,Engineer
Ken Allardyce Engineer
Mark Needham Engineer
Rob Cavallo Producer
Jeri Heiden Art Direction
Kristen Buckingham Composer
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Just stop worrying and relax. It's gonna be alright. Lyndsey has been deep in his secret underground lair cooking up the sweetest, most complicated aural confections heard since his last album and was gracious enough to share them with the rest of the planet once again. I mean seriously, when the aliens dropped of Mr Buckingham all those years ago, could they even have imagined what he would bring to us earthlings with two hands and one guitar. That nervous, frustated, passionate lunatic has once again flipped pop music on it's head, turned it inside out, and shined the California sunshine down upon it. This record is another near perfect gem. I say near because if there were some part of this album that I wasn't understanding, it's because Lyndsey didn't want me to, and I trust him. If he thinks it's over my head, he's right. And for those of you out there who think, in this day and age of utter debauched rip-offery of classic pop styles, that you can be the next Lyndsey Buckingham, forget it punk. You're nothing but a two-bit hack and chumps like you are a dime a dozen. So go mine someone elses catalog, cause you ain't fit carry The Buck's guitar strap. And if you get to thinking, sure, I'm as cool as that crazy old man, think again fool! It's Lyndsey Freaking Buckingham! Enjoy the new album, poseur.
The only bootleg CD I own came my way from a friend who knew how much I loved to hear Lindsey Buckingham play guitar, something many have forgotten how good he really is. It was called & quot Gift of Screams& quot which struck me odd considering one of the songs clearly was called & quot Gift of Screws& quot . That bootleg held material that dated back to around 1994 to 1996. With the release next Tuesday most of those bootlegged songs will have seen a legitimate light of day. Lindsey shelved what would have been his best CD to date way back when to resurrect another project, Fleetwood Mac. & quot Bleed to Love Her& quot from & quot The Dance& quot was the first of these songs to resurface. When the Mac did a proper studio album in 03, & quot Red Rover& quot , & quot Miranda& quot , & quot Come& quot , & quot Steal your Heart Away& quot , Goodbye to You& quot were released. Then in 06 Lindsey's first solo album since 1992 hit the stores, & quot Under the Skin& quot . & quot Down on Rodeo& quot , & quot Someones gotta Change your Mind& quot and a Donovan cover & quot To Try For the Sun& quot were given their due. With the release next Tuesday of his new album & quot Gift of Screws& quot , most of what hasn't been released from that watershed project, will be. & quot Wait For You& quot and & quot Gift of Screws& quot round out what may be the longest chapter in Buckingham's career. The first single & quot Did You Ever Miss Me& quot is a wonderful piece of pop confection. Where & quot Under the Skin& quot as a whole was laid back, I don't suspect that from this new disc. & quot Wait For You& quot has a nasty slide guitar sound, an almost bluesy number. & quot Gift of Screws& quot harkens back to his quirky first solo album, with it's army of Buckinghams trying to rise above each other competing to be heard. Lindsey's studio craft has always been Fleetwood Mac's secret weapon. I can't say whether this new album will give Lindsey all the accolades he's truly earned. A problem that pops up in the lyrics to & quot Wait For You& quot where he sings over and over on the songs coda & quot Nobody knows my name, walking the streets baby now, nobody knows my name& quot . Well here is one listener who not only knows your name, but plans to throw away the bootleg next Tuesday when I get my hands on the new CD. Thanks.