Lindsey Buckingham has always admired Brian Wilson, but beyond their shared studio perfectionism and reliably good pop instincts, their other great similarity is their strangeness. The former member of Fleetwood Mac thankfully didn't have to suffer the emotional problems his hero has faced, but a look back at Buckingham's oeuvre is to be struck by the avant experiments and off-kilter arrangements even his seemingly straightforward contributions to Rumours have such an intensity, with brokenhearted sentiments seething under the polished surface. His solo material has been less celebrated, but 1992's Out of the Closet in particular is a tribute to his obsessions; no pop album from such a revered industry figure has ever featured so many eccentricities: breathy spoken interludes, bizarre tirades against the industry, unbelievably beguiling romantic guitar passages. Returning with Under the Skin, he remains a bit of an odd duck, scaling back the instrumentation but adding even more atmosphere indeed, the record feels like Buckingham's last will and testament before he sheds his skin at last and evaporates into pure sound. Expect his live show to be equally distinctive and mysterious.
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