Reviews:: Richard Bucker Meadows

In a completely unrelated post to yesterday, I’m going to talk about a Merge artist who is playing in Vancouver while I’m away getting married. Oh wait, that is exactly what I talked about yesterday. I guess this post should have been called Merge 2: Electric Boogaloo.

Richard Buckner is playing Richards on Richards with Eric Bachmann on SEPT 10, in support of his newest gem, Meadow. The pairing of Bachmann and Buckner on the same bill is fantastic as both use gentle country folk tinged pop melodies to express the weariness of being alone. Both seem to take solace in their loneliness, and unlike so many who begrudgingly fight the inevitable, Buckner and Bachmann seems to have come to grips with their lives.

Meadow is Buckner’s 9th release, and it’s the type of album that makes you want to grab his whole back catalogue (I’d suggest Bloom as your first purchase because the song 22 is perfect, but Dents & Shells is also a must have). The opening track, Town is more of a rocker (and shows off the guitar work of GBV alum Doug Gillard) than the other cuts on the album, but it highlights the power of subtlety. Somehow without straining or screaming, Buckner’s vocals dominate even over the heavy drums, but this presence seems effortless.

This record really starts to take shape for me on the track, Mile. Buckner uses two simple guitars to compliment his vocals, and although he definitely writes in country themes, his voice doesn’t fall into that stereotypical gravely, tired drawl. The little bit of polish is just enough to want me to keep listening, time and time again. Much like Bachmann, the production in these songs makes them more than outpourings of regret and crying in your beer sorrows. It’s rough enough to make you take notice, but not to make you feel he’s angry about how life has worked out. His words simply are an admission of what he feels, accepting the outcome regardless.

“I’m taking you with me, till I can’t take anymore.”

MP3:: Numbered
Numbered is a pain filled track that uses a plucky bass line and a gentle piano riff to set the depressing mood and it’s my favorite track on this fantastic record. It's addictive.

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