Album review: Lindsey Buckingham's 'Seeds We Sow'
It’s been a good year for Fleetwood Mac, even without the actual existence of Fleetwood Mac, which last toured in 2009 and hasn’t released a new studio album since 2003’s "Say You Will." In May, the hit Fox series "Glee" devoted an episode to the band’s 1977 record "Rumours," the same day that singer Stevie Nicks released "In Your Dreams," her best-received solo disc in decades. And echoes of the group’s lustrous West Coast pop have cropped up recently on records by buzzy young acts like the Belle Brigade and Fleet Foxes. No wonder, then, that Lindsey Buckingham told Rolling Stone last week that Fleetwood Mac will likely return in 2012.
Until then, here’s Buckingham’s latest solo album, his third in five years and the first one he’s releasing himself following a lengthy stint with Warner Bros. Like all of the singer-guitarist’s own work, "Seeds We Sow" is thornier than Buckingham’s material for Fleetwood Mac, with an emphasis on his percussive, sometimes-discordant acoustic guitar playing and on his intimately recorded vocals, which in a stripped-down rendition of the Rolling Stones’ "She Smiled Sweetly" push intriguingly at whatever border separates passionate from creepy. (Buckingham’s originals reflect his usual blend of midlife introspection and limousine-liberal hand-wringing.)
Several cuts, though, suggest that the man who wrote "Second Hand News" and "Go Your Own Way" has indeed been thinking big of late: In "That’s the Way That Love Goes" he layers an insistent vocal melody over a zippy fuzz-pop groove, while "Gone Too Far" has the lush light-rock feel of Fleetwood Mac’s radio-bait late-’80s phase. Stand by to see what these "Seeds" grow.
"Seeds We Sow"
Three stars (out of four)