Lindsey Buckingham – “Seeds We Sow” (2011, Buckingham Records)
Reviewer: Madison Faulkner
There seem to be two Lindsey Buckingham’s that exist on the icon’s latest solo endeavor, Seeds We Sow. The legendary rocker’s newest release proves to be a fusion of the Buckingham that once was and the Buckingham that is. Listeners are given a choice as to which Buckingham they prefer — the harmonious crooner humming over the gentle strumming of an acoustic guitar or the fast paced, stern vocalist layered over frantic, gritty synth blare with the occasional guitar solo.
The title track starts the album off strong as the sweeping chorus plays through with accompanying strings as Lindsey cries. The definition of each note played is pure and symphonic, done only in the brilliance that Buckingham can offer in his melodic lullabies. Airy whispers echo on as the song fades out, “Oh the seeds we sow”—a little cheesy but I will forgive him for that. He, did, after all give us Tusk.
The rest of the album is hit and miss for the artist. “In Our Own Time” is a dizzying, fast paced number with Buckingham’s vocals layered over an annoying buzz-like warble reminiscent to that of gnat in your ear, producing a cheap and unwelcome effect. “Rock Away Blind” once again showcases Buckingham’s uncanny ability to capture the poetic beauty of rock music. Lindsey’s mastermind is complemented by the toe tapping, gentle melody that carries you along as vocals sweetly coo in and out, weaving their way through the guitar’s rhythm.
Lindsey’s split personality rears its head once more in “One Take”, delivering its direct, stern vocals and a gritty, pulsating guitar riff. The genius of Lindsey’s frantic finger picking guitar solo is almost enough to save this song but falls short when Buckingham half-heartedly raps through parts of verse.
The album comes to a close with Buckingham’s breathy, tender cover of “She Smiled Sweetly” sending listeners off with the same image of Buckingham as when they entered; melodic, gentle vocals accompanied by the brilliance of his cadenced guitar playing.
We want to keep Lindsey as he was in Fleetwood Mac but as he ever so swiftly progresses into old age, perhaps he has earned the right to let his freak flag fly. Some of the tracks on Seeds We Sow verge on the edge of progressive with their hurried, synthetic rhythms but the album is salvaged by the brilliance of Buckingham’s songwriting and saccharine sweet vocals. Some listeners will appreciate the assortment Buckingham offers and those that do will find the outnumbered tracks varying in style much to their liking as they lose themselves in the genius that is Lindsey Buckingham.
My nephew finally got himself an mp3 player for Christmas. And already the adventurous music listener (and a voracious one too!) he asked me to play “cool uncle” and fill it up with music for him for New Years.
Yes, he wants the usual stuff everyone his age is listening to on the radio … or as his mother puts it: “anything that sounds rebellious.” But he’s also a huge Lindsey Buckingham junkie. He’s memorized most of the libretto to Anais Mitchell’s Americana opera Hadestown (my top pick for album of the year in 2010). And he helped pick out The White Album by the Beatles and the BBC Sessions from Led Zeppelin for my father for Christmas along with his parents.
Did I mention he’s in first grade?
I’ve noticed people tend to have low opinions of young people and their musical taste. Disney markets Hannah Montana to kids and they lap it up because it’s what they hear — and their parents buy it for them because the music’s safe and inoffensive (just don’t let the kiddies watch “Can’t Be Tamed” if that’s your theory!) But kids aren’t stupid. They want to hear music that sounds good, and if they could hear bands like Arcade Fire, Sufjan Stevens, Regina Spektor or Only Son playing on top 40 radio, they’d lap those bands’ albums up too.
[It'd be nice if the music industry could pick up that kind of idea and run with it, the idea of getting kids when they're young and teaching them to love music, to want to explore it. These are our children, they're not just another marketing tool.]
Anyway, I just had a ton of fun filling his mp3 player up with both the music I know he already enjoys, along with the music I think he will enjoy when he gets a chance to hear it on shuffle. And I’m not going to make assumptions about what might or might not be over his head … aside from keeping things clean (he’s seven, so no major profanity) I think it’s best to let him set the limits of what works.
I can’t wait to hear what he winds up latching onto …
This was just too good for me not to post. I’m a HUGE fan of Fleetwood Mac’s Lindsey Buckingham, and these lessons he gave Guitar World regarding his finger-picking style blew my mind. Makes me almost wish I’d taken up guitar instead of drums in high school (or that I was coordinated enough to pull off that style).
He may call himself a self-taught “primitive,” but Buckingham is clearly among the strongest rock guitarists of his musical generation. Watch these videos and feel free to argue with me if you’ve got the inclination. As far as “dream interviews” go, spending an afternoon talking to Buckingham would be at the top of my list.
This is my favorite example of his finger-picking style: