Lindsey Buckingham – Pop-savvy blend of melody and malaise

Fri, Sep 17, 2021, 05:00


Lindsey Buckingham

Lindsey Buckingham

Rhino/Warner Music


Pop songs come easy to Lindsey Buckingham, one-time member of Fleetwood Mac. The man whose mark is scrawled all over that group’s career-defining albums Rumours (1977) and Tusk (1979) has had a fractious relationship with his bandmates, but little prepares you for the personal turmoil outlined in his self-titled seventh solo album. 

More bitter than sweet, the album has been gathering dust for more than three years. It was dropped from the release schedules in 2018 when Buckingham parted ways from the Mac. He then had a heart attack, and after that his long-term marriage disintegrated. 

Grist to the mill for a songwriter, you might say, but there is more than just a transference of grief here. While the melodies throughout are as watertight as you can imagine from the writer of Second Hand News, Go Your Own Way and Never Going Back Again, it is the lyrics that tell less glittering stories of the difficulties of continuing lengthy relationships. Songs are littered with portents of unease, from “I love it when you scream” (Scream) and “Lies are the only thing that keeps us alive” (Power Down) to “has she lost her way” (Dancing) and “now you want to leave it behind . . . ” (Santa Rosa).

A potent pop-savvy blend of melody and malaise? Part of the Mac is back, at least.