Richard Buckner – Our Blood

Richard Buckner - Our Blood

Richard Buckner, remaining free of the overt country stylings he became known for, is out with more somewhat brooding folk music — but for all the good moments, Our Blood doesn’t hit many heights at all.

I so desperately wanted to love Our Blood, but there’s something missing: Genuine excitement and interest. There’s nothing particularly enthralling about the way these elements have been combined, and while there’s been plenty of attention to detail by Buckner, there’s a dreary quality that gets, well, old — and quick.

There are of course some bright moments about, and by and large, there’s nothing grating or displeasing about the vocal stylings of Richard Buckner. There exist here some moderately pleasing harmonies, and while the melodic work isn’t anything likely to create more than a couple passing earworms, nobody will be pulling their hair out, either.

But that’s the problem, isn’t it? Our Blood doesn’t leave me wanting more, it doesn’t leave me drooling over another listen, and it sure doesn’t leave me interested in more of Richard Buckner’s work. But on the same measure, it doesn’t leave me sick or angry. It’s one of those unfortunately middling records that fails to excite in every regard. It’s frustrating, then, and worth a mention, because there are some very promising elements here. Richard Buckner could have crafted out a great album, but instead, he’s delved into the pool of mediocrity with Our Blood. He’s had his share of good music, and perhaps this is a momentary blip — or, perhaps, I’m insane or missed something very obvious.

There’s just that spark missing, really. Some of Buckner’s other work is interesting and engaging — but without that spark, the one that ignites everything, Our Blood just never hits any meaningful heights.

Merge Records