You can take the boy out of Fleetwood Mac, but you can’t take all of the Fleetwood Mac out of the boy.
Not that it’s a bad thing. Looking as if he hasn’t aged a day since his last album, (2008’s Gift of Screws), Buckingham picks up where he left off stylistically with his signature, rapid fire acoustic guitar playing, now more front and center in this record, his first break with Warner Brothers on his own Buckingham Records imprint.
Starting with the title track, Buckingham starts with a slow, gentle, acoustic groove, offering multiple vocal overdubs along with an abundance of echo, fading to barely a whisper at the end of the track, hinting that this record might just have the dynamic range of his last. Unfortunately, the level rises quickly on the second track, with a full-blown radio friendly (and most Mac –like) sound by the third. Most of the songs are somewhat trippy, with much talk about dreaming, karma and suspicion. Only on the track “One Take” is there a glimmer of the artist when he sings, “I have no reputation and I’m not on any list/That’s because I’ve got a publicist who covers up the avarice of where I put my fist.” Still a little Rumours residue?
It appears that this independence from the major label also means freeing himself of band members. On his last album, Buckingham recruited some great players as well as a couple of his ex – Mac bandmates with good result. But this time, he plays, sings, records and engineers this record. Much like similar efforts by Todd Rundgren or Prince (who also follow this trend) it can either succeed brilliantly or end up being too much of a good thing – and Buckingham walks a thin line here, often putting a bit too much paint on the canvas.
The Seeds We Sow is certainly a friendly record that legacy fans will probably enjoy, but considering what a splendid catalyst he always seems to be with other musicians, Buckingham still does his best work in the context of a band.
You can view the artists website here.
Photo by Jeff Dorgay