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The all-inclusive, ever-changing, and uncomfortably flexible guide to all things music in the 2010's.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Greatest Albums of 2011: #36: Richard Buckner - Our Blood

Think Jamie xx remixing Bob Dylan, Washed Out covering Bill Callahan. While Our Blood, Richard Buckner’s first album since 2006’s Meadow, contains some of the most precious folk songs of 2011, what made it so interesting to me upon first listen were the times in which Buckner placed electronics alongside his skeletal folk songs. Buckner’s voice is gentle and smoky, and he uses it to excellent effect on spare, acoustic jaunts like “Escape” and “Confession.” But it’s something else entirely when Buckner’s melancholy is bolstered by a synthetic mist, as is the case on “Collusion.” Album highlight “Thief” begins with a strobe light-like throb, drawing images of Gil Scott-Heron’s use of “Flashing Lights” to begin his 2010 album, I’m New Here. Here, however, the electronics elevate Buckner’s depressive grace, providing an accompaniment to his tales of the callous and amoral that is actually callous and amoral. All of Our Blood is welcoming, but the times in which those leaps are taken are the most rewarding. They make one of the best folk albums of the year one of the best unclassifiable albums of the year. 


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