Gift Of Screws

When Rolling Stone magazine or one the gazillion websites out there feature a list of the greatest guitarists of all time, they always leave off Lindsey Buckingham.  I’m not sure why.  The guy is a genius whose self-taught finger plucking technique has created a truly inspiring sound.  For those who don’t know who Lindsay is, he’s the most influential member of Fleetwood Mac whose name isn’t Stevie Nicks.  When Lindsey and Stevie joined the Mac in 1975, Fleetwood Mac soared to new heights.  Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie might have been the faces of the band, but it was Lindsey Buckingham who contributed the most with his unique guitar style and beautiful melodies.  The majority of my favorite Mac songs were written or sung by Lindsey.  For you trivia buffs out there, he also was responsible for Holiday Road, the theme from the National Lampoon Vacation movies.  He also had a few solo hits in the 80’s including Go Insane and Trouble.

Last week, Lindsey Buckingham released his fifth solo album Gift Of Screws,  a follow-up to his 2006 album, Under The Skin.  I personally liked Under The Skin, although the album didn’t have much a pop sound.  The album sounded like something that would ease your mind while reading a book at Barnes And Noble, or sipping a coffee at Starbucks.  Lindsey probably figured that after a lot of Mac fans were disappointed by his Under The Skin album, which was maybe his most personal album but some people didn’t get, he needed to get back to the sound that his followers know and love.  Gift Of Screws is a combination of the mellow guitar style of Buckingham but also has that familiar Fleetwood Mac rock sound.

Gift Of Screws was originally supposed to be released in 2001,  and featured songs recorded between 1995 and 2000.  The album title is taken from an Emily Dickinson poem, When Lindsey Buckingham decided to reunite with Fleetwood Mac in 1997, the album got shelved.  Ironically, some of the tunes were recorded and performed by Fleetwood Mac during their 1997 The Dance Tour.  Some of the tunes did leak to the internet, but the songs seem to have been rerecorded and Rob Cavallo (noted producer of Green Day’s American Idiot) came on to produce some of the non-leaked tracks.

The opening tune, Great Day, is a great album opener and could be mistaken for something on his Go Insane album from 1984.   Other dynamic tunes on the album are track#3 Did You Miss Me (which I believe is the first single) and track #5 Love Runs Deeper.  Did you also know that Fleetwood Mac bandmates John McVie and Mick Fleetwood are aboard to contribute on a few tracks?   I’m still yearning for another Fleetwood Mac album with Christine McVie, but I’ll gulp up anything Lindsey does.  My wife even made a comment that she liked what she was listening to, even though she thought Lindsey Buckingham was female.  Any time my wife likes a song, that’s bonus points.

Rating: A-  (Recommended for fans of mellow rock like Jack Johnson and Jason Mraz, and all Fleetwood Mac aficionados)


And as a special bonus treat: