Philadelphia Daily News, June 25, 1992


by Jim Farber, New York Daily News


by Lindsey Buckingham (Reprise)

Lindsey Buckingham's new album sounds as if it were concocted in some hermetically sealed universe, a place where studio-mixing equipment and tape loops are the only signposts of reality.

In a way, that's precisely what happened. Since ditching Fleetwood Mac in 1988 (ostensibly because he didn't want to get out in the real world and tour), Buckingham spent the last three years holed up in his home studio in Los Angeles, manipulating vocal tracks and tricking up guitar lines to devise this album.

The result is so loaded with bionically superhuman hooks and arrestingly weird sounds, it seems as much a science project as a pop record.

Of course, that has always been true of Buckingham's solo spawn (the last of which, "Go Insane," escaped his notoriously controlling grip some eight years back). Only in his hit work with Fleetwood Mac did Buckingham rein in his lust for hyper-techy, rule-breaking pop. Even there he managed, temporarily (and gleefully), to throw a monkey wrench into the group's career with 1979's purposely bizarre "Tusk" (an album he now credits as his unofficial first solo record).

Given this, it's a wonder Buckingham stayed with Mac as long as he did. Then again, that endurance may, in part, explain why the guitarist's first album since the official split is his most fastidiously strange to date. Not to mention his most fun.

Buckingham may display a near-nerdy obsession with technology, but the album offers its own fussy exuberance. A track like "Don't Look Down" contains a virtual hologram of hooks. Falsetto backup vocals hang in the air over cushiony rhythms, while sprightly guitar lines float in between them. Hooks can come wafting at you from subdued vocal lines murmuring in the distance or lunge in your face, like the sound of slamming doors from a subterranean dungeon.

Along the way, Buckingham manages to work in more deft guitar solos than on earlier solo spins. What Buckingham does with his vocals is equally impressive. His thick vocal harmonies in "All My Sorrows" recall Brian Wilson's innovative work circa "Pet Sounds," thereby reconnecting the L.A.-based Buckingham with California rock of an earlier era.

Thanks to Les for posting this to the Ledge and to Anusha for formatting and sending it to us.