Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Richard Buckner...

Well, Meadow came out yesterday. Did you notice? There was certainly a time in my life when anything that Richard Buckner did was greeted by my doing a kind of odd little jig across my living room. I guess not to much anymore. Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to disparage Meadow which is a pretty fine, if a little uninspired, album. It's the feeling that Buck's phoning it in a little or maybe it's that he's a little too self conscious of those heady early years when he made such a large splash across the alt-country scene. As with Dents And Shells Meadow is chock full of perfectly acceptable mid tempo acoustic rock numbers. There's still little of the folkier picking and strumming and psuedo-appalachian yodelling that characterizes his best work. But the real bummer for me is that once again Buckner buries his lyrics. So many of his lines are buried in a furrowed mumble or under questionable production. It's too bad because his lyrics are meant to be appreciated, mulled over, considered. I don't like it when I sound as if I'm pigeonholing an artist into a certain style, especially a style that was developed when said artist was younger. But Buckner's devolution from a folksy troubadour of the broken hearted to his current incarnation as a purveyor of a slightly bland acoustic-rock is to bad.

But Meadow specifically. In truth if this record appeared on your doorstep out of the blue without the baggage of Richard Buckner's fine back catalog, you'd be pleased with the offering. The songs have a certain sameness to them but they're fine songs. With the exception of the album closer "The Tether and The Tie" and "Mile" the songs all have the same mid-tempo pacing. While this tends to give the record a rather monochromatic feel, it's easy to find a least a couple of tracks that are mix worthy or easy to rock in the car.

I still maintain that Buckner's best effort of his more recent output is his collaboration with Jon Langford Sir Dark Invader vs. The Fanglord.

For most Meadow would be a reasonable achievement for Buckner it's merely par for his current course.

My favorite track off of Meadow:



Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a regular visitor here last year, but then dropped off due to limited broadband access. Today I stopped by again, and I have to say you still know how to pick 'em. Keep it going.

Re: Buckner. I just caught him playing NWMF in Portland. A damn fine show, even if was too short. But like you said, sometimes he was just too mumbled. (Of course, a live show is just a leeetle different that an in-studio album.)

Although, as he himself says, what's that word?


8:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Mile", great song... thanks for posting!

10:04 AM  

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