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Our Blood

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Vinyl, August 2, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

Since 2006's Meadow, fans of Richard Buckner have been clamoring for new material and wondering what was keeping their hero from releasing the new songs he would perform on the road. Well, it's a long story!
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Product Details

  • Vinyl (August 2, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B0055HVEM6
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #590,008 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Laura J. Walker on August 30, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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I was really looking forward to this CD, as i am a huge fan of Buckner's. Every CD of his i have blows me away in a different way. However, i must say my expectations are a tiny bit disappointed now, because i haven't had that rush of apprehending something startlingly novel and appealing. Maybe i haven't listened to it enough... only about three times now, and still nothing jumps out at me. Because i love him, it is still pleasant to hear his voice; reassuring to note his words, knowing he is still him, and still has the same questions; and in general, his sound vibrating around my house or car feels right.
Still, i am a little bummed that i haven't gotten one rush of highness over an exquisitely surprising turn of phrase or melody. Not yet... oh, maybe one, where he hits that note on the end of the verse of the first song. The track's called "Traitor." Actually, listening to it right now, i must say it is a beautiful piece, and Richard does that lovely lilting thing with his voice. The rhythm sounds very much like the familiar backgrounds of "Impasse." If you have "The Hill" or the collaboration with Jon Langford, i think you will see more similarities to those three CDs than to his others. But then, Track 2, "Escape," begins almost exactly like "On Traveling" from the acoustic self-titled CD.
So, if you are new to Buckner, or if you love him so much you just want more of him, you will want this CD. But i can't agree with the first reviewer here who said it didn't sound like anything earlier.
Later note, November 2011: it has happened. Dare i say that getting high, and listening to this CD for about the tenth time, it struck me. This is beautiful! What is it about Buckner that is so hard to get to at first...
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Format: Audio CD
Our Blood is a richly textured contemplation of thoughts, loss and search of direction. Bruised but not bowed, Buckner explores experiences and darkness. Maybe Elliott Smith is the closest I can describe to a similar perspective in the night. There is something comforting about sharing the empty places a person visits in the shadows. Our Blood is highly listenable and rewarding.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album, Buckner's first in five years, was finally released after many setbacks, lending to what Buckner has called its sense of "desperation." It is darker than his other two outstanding recent albums, MEADOW (2006) and SURROUNDED (2013), but I find it be the best of a run of songs and albums on a very high plateau of inspiration and craft.

OUR BLOOD is performed almost entirely by Buckner himself, including a prominent role for organ, which creates a distinctive timbre and mood. The great pedal steel guitarist Buddy Cage plays on three tracks. Malcolm Burn is responsible for the mix, which may well be why it sounds so good...

I find the three most recent Buckner albums to be absolutely stunning. These are short albums jam-packed with great songs -- melodies, hooks, arrangements, and oblique, evocative lyrics. Buckner consistently conveys complex moods that I suspect most of us experience, but they are so evanescent that they never fully register. What is common to most is dissatisfaction and yearning, a perfect expression of the Buddhist concept of dukkha (dissatisfaction). This is basic to the human condition, and recognizing that it is impossible to eliminate (without eliminating thirst/craving -- tanha) is the beginning of peace and wisdom.

This is a superb album from a musician whose profile has declined as his talent and level of accomplishment has grown. In our bizarro world, Buckner fights to maintain a small niche and is unknown to most. Don't miss the older, better Richard Buckner -- success in the capitalist market does not correlate with artistic quality!
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Format: Audio CD
It seemed like an eternity since the last Buckner CD. This CD is very different from anything he has ever released, which is a good thing. The songs are rich and beautiful. My only problem with the CD is the same problem I have with everyone of Richard's CDs, they are too short! Five years for 38 minutes is a hard pill to swallow.

Make sure to seem Richard live, he's the best!
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Format: MP3 Music
From his Jack Daniels soaked debut recorded in 1994 to his latest LP "Our Blood" the great Richard Buckner has travelled a highly personal and determined journey. He produces songs deeper than the ocean and was the ploughing the Americana furrow well before it was fashionable to do so. For those who have never seen or heard of the great man check out his great country orientated cover of Joy Divisions anthem "Love will tear us apart" on the web, bend copyright laws if needed to get a copy of his epic song "A chance counsel" off "Dents and Shells" and forgo for this week that extra bottle of red wine in order to get 2006s brilliant album "Meadow".

Buckner hails from California and has grown from a frayed alt country balladeer to a much more expansive artist who has a glittering fan club made up of major musicians but bugger all album sales. And so it goes says Kurt Vonnegut although it doesn't have to be such. Over some eight albums Buckner such as contemporaries like Jason Molina, Mark Eitzel and Mark Kozelek have been making music so far off the beaten track that the train no longer stops there. Who cares? The music is always to the highest standards and yet the world is a cruel place. On "Our Blood" we see a continuation of the themes in "Meadow" with a much more electrified approach and songs full of haunting melodies, latent hurt and dark emotions. None fit this bill more precisely than "Traitor" with its simple strummed guitar lines and pounding percussion over which Buckner warns " O, watch that temper now./Is it worth it, wasted?/How far will you get? Equally foreboding is "Witness" a bittersweet lament where the strummed electronic guitar chords dominate in a song, which sounds like the Cure transported to Lubbock Texas, minus a drummer.
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