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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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That’s Sir Lindsey of Buckingham to you

By Danny Letz

Lindsey Buckingham

Under the Skin

Reprise Records

Four out of five stars

Under the Skin, the fourth solo album from Lindsey Buckingham (former guitar virtuoso for Fleetwood Mac and nominee for greatest name in all of rock history), has already been hailed by many as a “new pop masterpiece.”

Well, maybe-but not quite.

With the opener “Not Too Late,” Buckingham reminds listeners immediately who he is: a guy that can pick a mean guitar with a quick-moving, rapid style that plays like a Bach composition or?well, something you’d come to expect from Lindsey Buckingham.

And, honestly speaking, on first listen the album sounds much like the gestated stepchild of Buckingham’s early Fleetwood Mac work, particularly reminiscent of songs like Mac’s “Never Going Back Again.” On second listen, however, Buckingham’s recording plays more like Elliott Smith on Prozac with a reverb machine.

After picking up speed with the album’s title track “Under The Skin,” a melancholy yet enchanting number that sounds like Buckingham recorded inside a cave, he gives justice to one of the Rolling Stones’ all-time classic numbers, “I Am Waiting.”

“It Was You,” a melodic tribute to waiting for true love, employs what could be termed the vocal equivalent of a classical fugue-which, for those unacquainted with the sound, translates into “something really, really cool.”

“To Try For The Sun,” “Someone’s Gotta Change Your Mind” and “Down On Rodeo” stand out as the album’s other high points, showcasing Buckingham’s ability to employ a quick-moving picking hand and sing a Robert Plant falsetto as easily as a scratchy post-modern Dylan.

One thing that’s never in doubt throughout the duration of the album is the man’s musical abilities (Buckingham plays nearly every instrument on the album) or the musical capacity of his voice.

Among the album’s failures, however, is the aforementioned reverb effect, which makes certain tracks play as though recorded outside the Grand Canyon or inside a recording booth without sound-absorbing walls. The effect drags on a number of songs and makes the length of certain tracks (most songs on the album average more than four-and-a-half minutes each) drag even further.

With a shorter average song length and less reverb effect, the album would play much better-which is not to say the album plays poorly.

It’s just that as it stands, the album is shy of being deemed a “masterpiece.”

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