Lindsey Buckingham – “Out of the Cradle” (1992)

August 17, 2008 at 2:18 pm (Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham, Music, Reviews & Articles)

Written Aug. 16, 2008…

After Lindsey Buckingham left Fleetwood Mac (at the time, what seemed like for good), he started recording his third solo album. Five long years later he finally emerged from his private domain and released Out of the Cradle. It was a return to simpler arrangements and tighter song structures (somewhat in the manner of Rumours), after the insular, paranoid brilliance of Tusk and Go Insane and the skewed pop of Tango in the Night. This was probably his best all-round album ever, in terms of actual songs and should have been a big seller for him. Unfortunately, it didn’t set the charts on fire but it was my favorite album of 1992. I remember though, being slightly disappointed at the time, because of it not being as adventurous as Go Insane. We had become used to expecting Buckingham to play the eccentric and idiosyncratic pop savant. Out of the Cradle seemed almost too normal for him. But that is probably why these songs have aged so well. It was filled with excellent songwriting and performing. And sometimes that is enough. This is a man who clearly knows his craft.

The album starts off with some of Lindsey’s brilliant acoustic fingerpicking, before quickly segueing into “Don’t Look Down,” which he sings beautifully (quietly on the verses, more forcefully in the chorus). Next up is “Wrong,” which appears to be an angry response to Mick Fleetwood’s autobiography and some of the sordid events Mick wrote about Lindsey’s departure from Fleetwood Mac in 1987. It doesn’t sound like Lindsey agreed with Mick on many of the details.

“Countdown” is one of Lindsey’s greatest songs. Pure pop perfection. This should have been a huge hit for him and might have been if only Fleetwood Mac’s name had been on it. Unfortunately, Buckingham, even though he is considered the genius of Fleetwood Mac, is only the third biggest hit maker in the band. Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie were the ones that had the majority of hits, though Buckingham did manage to have three of his songs become major mainstays on pop radio. He has had a difficult time making a name for himself outside of the band, unlike Stevie, whose solo albums sold in the millions.

“Doing What I Can” sounds like it may have been an outtake from Tango in the Night. It has a similar sound to songs like “Family Man” and “Big Love.”

“All My Sorrow” is a beautiful, haunting song. Lindsey’s double-tracked vocal is magnificent, with a shimmering musical background. It’s followed by “Soul Drifter,” another wonderful pop confection. The breezy, effervescent “You Do or You Don’t” is one of the catchier songs on the album and another should-have-been hit.

There is much more guitar playing throughout, then we are used to hearing from Buckingham. Many exquisite acoustic interludes, as well as stinging electric solos, especially on “This is the Time.”

“Surrender the Rain” starts off with a whispered spoken introduction about obsession and fear, before leading into another gem of a song. The keyboard that starts things off also sounds like another holdover from Tango in the Night

“Say We’ll Meet Again” is a lovely, simple ending to the album. Sounds like it could have come out in the late 50s or early 60s.   

For some reason, this was the last full album from Lindsey until 2003’s Fleetwood Mac reunion album Say You Will. He was working on a fourth studio album for many years, before some of those songs got used on Say You Will. He is a man that will not be rushed in the studio. But when he comes out with albums this good, it is definitely worth the wait.  

 

Jay Mucci

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