I hadn’t listened to this album in quite a while and so it was with some trepidation that I pulled it from an obscure corner of my music room. It was a nice surprise as it is a creative release which contains a lot of good music.
Out Of The Cradle was released June 16, 1992. This was during the time period Lindsey Buckingham was not a member of Fleetwood Mac. Despite that fact, the music is not a lot different from much of the material he had produced while with the band. He was always the outer creative edge of the group, but Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie’s contributions brought the band back toward the pop/rock mainstream.
Outside of the Fleetwood Mac concept, his music stands on its own. Unfortunately, it would not be a huge commercial success, reaching only number 128 on the United States album pop chart.
Buckingham wrote or co-wrote 14 of the 16 tracks, including three very short connector pieces. They have structures and rhythms that push the limits of pop/rock and can best be called alternative pop for want of a better definition. The songs play to his guitar strengths, as he has always been one of the under appreciated guitarists of the last three-plus decades.
Many of the lyrics also travel in a personal direction, which gives the music authenticity. I’m not sure the two non originals are needed, as they interrupt the flow of the album. The old Kingston Trio song, “All My Sorrow,” is interesting and well done but does not fit the material around it. The Richard Rodgers/Oscar Hammerstein composition, “This Nearly Was Mine,” is an oddity.
The good news is found in his own compositions. Songs such as “Soul Drifter,” “You Do Or You Don’t,” “Street Of Dreams,” and “Doing What I Can” are complex, lyrical, and even melodic despite their edgy nature.
As with his two previous solo releases, he plays most of the instruments himself, including the lead and rhythm guitar parts. He also provides percussion, bass, and keyboards. His only accompanists are bassists Larry Klein and Buell Neidlinger, percussionist Alex Acuna, and organist Mitchell Froom on one track.
Out Of The Cradle has withstood the test of time well. It is a mature album that remains true to his musical vision. It would be 14 years before his next solo effort.