Release Date: Sep 16, 2008
Record label: Warner Bros.
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
As a member of Fleetwood Mac, Lindsey Buckingham is a rock potentate. As a solo artist, he’s an avant-garde aesthete, breaking down beguiling melodies into sonic mushroom clouds. Gift of Screws finds him creating an insular world of ghostly vocals and nervous guitars. On ”Time Precious Time,” a frenetically picked acoustic guitar ticks off the moments before an emotional reckoning, while the jittery title track throws a cherry bomb at Bush’s war machine.
What it all means is simple: that Buckingham is not only still relevant, but he's also a pioneer in terms of craft, execution, and production, and has plenty to teach the current generation about making excellent records and never resting on your laurels. Gift of Screws is a standout even in his catalog. .
At the height of Fleetwood Mac's Rumours supernova, guitarist Lindsey Buckingham suddenly started listening to Talking Heads and the Clash. Gift of Screws' harder moments suggest these influences remain, though Buckingham has returned to the ethereal pop-rock songwriting that spawned the band's classic hits. With the trusty Mick Fleetwood-John McVie rhythm section giving lots of sonic wallop, this is more than just a Mac album without the female vocalists: Buckingham seems to be rediscovering some sort of idealism.
The title comes from an Emily Dickinson poem - it's not about Fleetwood Mac groupies. Gift proves that Lindsey Buckingham's knack for writing catchy pop-rock chord changes is alive and well. Buckingham's furious fingerpicking guitar style is front and centre on the sweet Bel Air Rain, and opener Great Day would be a great song if it weren't a total knock-off of Don Henley's Boys Of Summer.