Jo V. (Jo) from BOISE, ID Reviewed on 7/12/2007...
Great CD with Lindsey Buckingham's unique sound.
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Musically Surreal Erotica
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 05/15/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The 1980s saw Stevie Nicks emerge as a major recording star--and in the wake of her success Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie also released solo efforts. While McVie's self-titled effort was enjoyable and well executed, it broke no new ground; Lindsey Buckingham's GO INSANE, however, was unexpectedly memorable.The album is very much of its time, relying heavily on synthesizer and drawing a great deal from both late 1970s "New Wave" idioms and the slick rock-pop-dance music that dominated the airwaves of the 1980s. But even so, and although it generated an unexpected number of hits, GO INSANE is hardly the sort of recording that one would expect to make the charts: glitchy, anxious, and deliberately surreal, it merges everything from random sound to Scottish melodies to flashes of Middle Eastern guitar and snatches of South African harmonies.Buckingham is, I think, one of the most under-recognized guitar players out there, and now and then on GO INSANE one hears that increasingly intense guitar that made many of Fleetwood Mac's recordings so memorable. But this album is less about guitar than it is about production: in general, the recording uses layered sound (including vocals) in an extremely disorienting and disconcerting fashion, bits of music that sound as if they were played in reverse, and everything from the sound of breaking glass to the sound of pouring water.The lyrics are covertly erotic, with virtually every cut dealing in some form or fashion with sexual desire, and Buckingham's edgy voice serves the material extremely well throughout. Indeed, it is almost impossible to single out any one cut for praise above the others, but I will note that I have always been particularly fond of the jumpy "I Want You" (opening with the sound of an alarm clock ringing), the Dada-ish "Play In The Rain" parts one and two, and the intense "Loving Cup." Whatever the case, it's all good and very unusual stuff, and while it won't necessarily please Fleetwood Mac fans it's certainly a reference point for those who wondered where all the strangeness of the earlier TUSK and the later SAY YOU WILL comes from.--GFT (Amazon reviewer)--"
Beneath the sheen, it shines
J. Chasin | NYC, NY | 06/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album was, when it came out, a work of sheer wonder for me. 18 years on that wonder still holds.I understand the criticisms of the production style; the production, very state-of-the-art at the time, is quite "in your face." But this is key to what renders this album so magical.On the first few listens this album will sound cold and icy-- like those gum commercials where they show cold winter scenes accompanying the chewing of said stick or chicklet. You almost feel the harsh winds blow. But after you listen a few times, you start to find yourself penetrating the icy veneer, and you find the white hot passion and raw emotion juswt beneath the surface--passion that makes so much of Lindsey's best work so powerful and enduring. Listen to "Bang the Drum." Pure ice. Listen to it again. And again. Hell, listen to it on headphoines. As you penetrate the shell, you begin to picture this tiny Lindsey, in the face of the female protagonist's "deep down feeling that won't let go", her fears that "I just don't think I'm tough enough", urging her to "bang the drum! Play it loud!" It is a profound message, a message of transforming pain and fear to hope and self, a message all the richer for the way it rrequires that unwrappping. I generally think albums that improve with subsequent listens end up being the best albums.You can also, by the way, hear the sonic seeds for Tango In the Night, a Fleetwood Mac album comprised largely of songs lifted (in some cases intact) from an aborted Lindsey solo project (much as Say You Will rises from the ashes of the unreleased Gift of Screams). The vocal effects Lindsey uses on the Tango track "Big Love" to emulate Stevie singing-- fooling most listeners who thought she was actually on that track, including at the time David Letterman, who nightly played the song and made fun of "Stevie's" love grunts-- can be found all over Go Insane.Ultimately, I found this little gem to be one of the best releases of the 80s. It doesn't sound dated at all to these ears (let's face it, this isn't Men Without Hats or Duran Duran we're talking about here). If you can go with it, give in to the synthesized icy production sheen that is the hard exterior, you will be amply rewarded when the thing explodes with color and flavor inside your head and heart."
Brandon J. Smith | Philadelphia, PA | 11/04/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"About a year ago, I discovered that I liked a number of Fleetwood Mac songs, so I went ahead and bought their "very best of" collection. I fell in love with it and proceeded to obtain the rest of their catalog (only the ones with Buckingham). I then found out that Buckingham had some solo cds, so I got "Law and Order" and "Out of the Cradle," and I loved them. I then searched every music store in Philadelphia, and then every music store I could find in Pittsburgh, for "Go Insane." Failing in all my efforts, I turned to Amazon, and finally was able to get the cd in just a couple of days.
At first, I thought the cd was just weird. The production is very off-kilter, and it basically felt like he'd taken the quirkiness of "Law and Order" to the next level. Which I suppose he did. If "Law and Order" is the album of an isolated, mad-folkie cutting loose in the studio, "Go Insane" is more the album of an isolated mad-scientist cutting loose in a studio.
I then listed to the cd again. And again. And again. While I still slightly prefer "Law and Order" to "Go Insane," I've become entranced by this cd. So few people seek out (or even know to seek out) Buckingham's solo work, sticking with his big-time Fleetwood Mac work, and they are just plain missing out.
"Go Insane" is an art-rock masterpiece, particularly if seen as a companion-piece to "Law and Order." The few of us who have pursued obtaining these cds are indeed a lucky group. I recommend this album wholeheartedly to anyone interested in Buckingham in a different light. (Highlights "I Want You," "Go Insane," and "I Must Go" in particular are equal to Buckingham's best individual songs with Fleetwood Mac.)"
A look inside Buckingham's studio in the mid 80's
Brandon J. Smith | 02/06/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Go Insane has often been referred to by fans as Lindsey's "show off" album. And I have to agree, studio wizardry aside, this is also his least realized solo effort. This is the first time Lindsey Buckingham released a project that wasn't produced by himself or his coproducer Richard Dashut (Rumours, Tusk, Out of The Cradle, etc). This time, Roy Thomas Baker is brought in to oversee things and the music certainly suffers because of it. Most of you will remember him as the producer of The Cars records. That said, the usual brillance and genius of Buckingham's guitar work and song structure still manages to shine on every song. If you can put up with the countless layers of 1980's style production tricks, then you will find a few favorites amongst all the clutter. This is the one collection of Buckingham tracks that would certainly feel out of place on a Fleetwood Mac record. Highlights include D.W. Suite, a three part tribute to Beach Boy Dennis Wilson(who at the time of his drowning death was involved with FM member Christine McVie) and the humorously self-gratifying "I Want You" complete with his signature wild electric guitar romp. One for the die hard fans. For a more focused look at Buckingham's work check out the very simple Tusk-like "Law and Order" or the utterly breathtaking "Out of The Cradle"."
A journey into insanity...
duggalolly | beyond the waterfall | 09/24/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"In Lindsey Buckingham's work with Fleetwood Mac, there was always a sense of urgent intensity under the surface, waiting to explode at any moment. This is the album where it finally explodes! The album opens with the sound of a ringing alarm clock, waking us up to the fact that Buckingham does not intend to play it safe this time around. This leads into "I Want You", an intense track set to a funky jackhammer rhythm, with Buckingham's distorted vocals drawing us right in to his insane world of lust and longing. This song is followed by three tense (and surprisingly funky) tracks, the most notable of which is "Slow Dancing". This song is incredibly haunting, with Buckingham's trademark vocal harmonies, as well as some beautiful (almost Celtic sounding) acoustic guitar playing at the song's end. All the tension leads up to the album's centerpiece, "Play In The Rain". This 2-part piece uses strange sounds of exotic percussion, sitars, feminine voices, and synthesizers to create a feeling almost of sexual release. After this, the album begins to take a more hopeful tone, leading up to "D.W. Suite" which encompasses life, death, and redemption. This is a true concept album that needs to be listened to from beginning to end. Buckingham proves his true skill to be not just as a guitar player but also a producer in control of a vast array of sounds. The vocal effects and synth sounds are a precursor to the work he would do on "Tango In The Night". Overall, "Go Insane" is an overlooked masterpiece of an album that takes you into the insane world of Lindsey Buckingham."