Album reviews: Lindsey Buckingham’s self-titled record and Enrique Iglesias – Final Vol 1

Lindsey Buckingham’s latest solo venture is a statement of intent, while former Latin pop king Enrique Iglesias sounds ready to give up his throne

Elizabeth Aubrey,Roisin O'Connor
Thursday 16 September 2021 13:30
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<p>Back with a bang: Buckingham’s seventh studio solo album is a strong offering </p>

Back with a bang: Buckingham’s seventh studio solo album is a strong offering

Lindsey Buckingham – Lindsey Buckingham

★★★☆☆

It’s been a tumultuous few years for Lindsey Buckingham. After being fired from Fleetwood Mac in 2018, he had to undergo life-saving, open-heart surgery in 2019 and then the pandemic hit. Buckingham called it “a trifecta of events that were completely off the charts” – which is, perhaps, putting it mildly. Despite his troubles, Buckingham’s seventh studio album is far from a dour, downbeat affair. In fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Take early album track, “On The Wrong Side”. While it seems to address his acrimonious break-up with the band –I’m outta pity,”he repeatedly croons – it’s an upbeat, stripped-back pop song which culminates in one of Buckingham’s signature, stomping electric guitar solos – and shows Fleetwood Mac just what they’re missing.

Drum machine led “Swan Song” is the album’s most inventive and surprising song, proving that the creator of “Tusk” has still got his knack for innovation and creating a daring pop hook.

While the weakest tracks here tend to veer into self-pity – the reflective, gentle and Searchers-like “Time” is a good example when Buckingham sings, “Some folks treat me mean”, these moments are usually short-lived. Buckingham is better when looking ahead, with purpose, as on the harmonious “Power Down”.

The self-title here feels like a statement of intent and with a strong solo offering like this, it may well make Fleetwood Mac think again. EA

Enrique Iglesias sounds ready to retire on his new album

Enrique Iglesias – Final Vol 1

★★☆☆☆

Is Enrique Iglesias retiring? From the title of his new album, it sounds like it. Even more so when you listen to the music itself, which gives the impression that the Latin pop king is ready and willing to give up his throne.

Iglesias, the son of Spanish singer Julio Iglesias, was one of the dominant Latin pop crossovers of the Noughties; by the end of the decade, he was churning out a string of club-friendly bangers including “I Like It” with Pitbull, and “Tonight (I’m F***in’ You)” with Ludacris. And before Daddy Yankee came along with “Despacito” in 2017, Iglesias scored a major Spanish-language hit in the US with the yearning “Bailando”.

Now, though, it seems the 46-year-old is worn out. Final Vol 1 is a surprisingly unsexy offering from the artist who once turned fans to jelly with brooding numbers such as 2001’s “Hero”. The English-language “Chasing the Sun” is a bland auto-tune fest that sounds like one of the so-so tracks by Joe Jonas’s pop band, DNCE. “I’m feeling kinda empty… I’m a bit depleted,” he sings on “Unwell” and, yes, right now he’s emulating Adam Levine’s brand of soulless pop.

Things pick up a tiny bit at the halfway point. You have the sultry “Me Pase”, with its reggaeton beat and gorgeous licks of Spanish guitar, and the assertive “Subeme La Radio”. But then there’s the ludicrous “El Bano”, which, while catchy, translates to a horny Iglesias talking about how his lover can “make [him] so hard”, he wants to go to the bathroom to hook up. It’s a shame, but Final Vol 1 positions Iglesias more as court jester than the Latin king he once was. ROC

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