Richard Buckner – Our Blood
Well seasoned and well-versed, Richard Buckner has been producing deep and devoted albums ever since 1994, which is, by my math, around seventeen years now. As this is an admirable feat in itself, it is even more important that in this time this gentleman has established himself as one of the greats of alt-country; a genre that is known to divide some fans. However, those familiar to Mr. Buckner’s sound should find what they are looking for, and those who are new to this man’s work should find something worth sticking around for.
Our Blood starts with “Traitor,” an opening number that kicks a little of everything your way. You have the deep and soulful voice of the man himself, the methodical guitar strumming, the gentle percussion instruments keeping things moving and some old fashion steel guitar to give it that country twinge in the background. But these are not the only elements of the track; as it progresses, the electronic elements (the synthesizer) become more apparent, and so does the darkness of the song. At the end, you are left in a state of bitter resentment, as you mourn the loss of someone close who chose betrayal, with Richard.
As it continues, the elements on this album that make you fully immersed in the music and the stories are the songwriting and those rugged, emotionally expressive, vocals. Like I just mentioned, it’s quite easy to lose yourself to this man’s tales, but it’s not because the sound is something radically life changing; as a matter of fact, the songs are musically quite simple in their nature. It is the songwriting rather, that makes this album stand apart from others. Listening to the weathered voice of a man singing about his troubles via intricate lyrics make them tangible. Buckner lures you in with his sentimental voice, and then keeps you with the story behind the emotion.
That being said, the instrumental parts of Our Blood are definitely nothing to overlook either, they just may not be the first thing you pick up on in your listening experience. For example, on “Witness,” amidst the fluttery guitar, you can hear delicate jingling of some percussion instrument twinkling in the background. It’s minute details like this embedded in these songs that provides for some variety on this very acoustic, yet good, album.
Download: Richard Buckner – Traitor [MP3]