Home > News & Reviews > Arthur Buck

Arthur Buck - Arthur Buck (Album Review)

Monday, 18 June 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Dean Karr 

Pop stardom is a young person’s game.

Those who are able to sustain a career in such a notoriously slippery industry need an abundance of professional guile, flexibility and luck to keep them there. Furthermore, pop musicians often live and die on their currency; the capacity to keep their work relevant during a changing cultural environment. And therein lies the problem here.

Arthur Buck is the project of singer-songwriter Joseph Arthur and former R.E.M. guitarist Peter Buck. The two have been collaborating since Buck's debut solo LP in 2012, and while they are highly skilled musical veterans who have crafted an album of varied textures, 'Arthur Buck' lacks the urgency and intensity of other records in the middle-aged-white-guy space.

This is demonstrated from track one. The boldly titled I Am the Moment could be a cadenza-like alarm to signal the official opening of this collaboration. Instead it is mealy mouthed radio fodder that never gets better than Buck’s opening mandolin bars.

One of the main problems is the record’s basic sonic palette. It is landfill Americana indie with turn-of the-century affectations. So far, so R.E.M, right? But their quality was derived through AAA songwriting and the unique charisma of Michael Stipe. When you remove those things, you have something that is devastatingly mediocre.

A good example of this is If You Wake Up In Time. One of the record’s better tracks, this song has a decent vocal hook and manages the limitations of the mandolin handsomely. Unfortunately, it’s a minute too long and once the song is over, the most memorable element is its slightly dated production.

A more irritating cut is Forever Falling, which lands somewhere between a Velvet Revolver ballad and a Sunday trip to B&Q. It’s a song of tedious languor that is dangerously close to David Brent parody. It demonstrates a lack of self awareness that makes the album very easy to turn off.

Ultimately, it’s a bit of a shame. The guys clearly love working and Buck remains a tremendously innovative musician, but this record is complacent. It feels like it was conceived and delivered in haste without a clear idea of what they were trying to do - other than rebrand themselves.

'Arthur Buck' is out now through New West Records

Arthur Buck Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows

Fri September 07 2018 - SEATTLE Washington - Crocodile (USA)
Sat September 08 2018 - PORTLAND Oregon - Doug Fir Lounge (USA)
Mon September 10 2018 - SAN FRANCISCO California - Independent (USA)
Tue September 11 2018 - LOS ANGELES California - Teragram Ballroom (USA)
Thu September 13 2018 - ATHENS Georgia - 40 Watt Club (USA)
Sun September 16 2018 - NASHVILLE Tennessee - Basement East - Nashville (USA)
Tue September 18 2018 - PHILADELPHIA Pennsylvania - World Cafe Live (USA)
Wed September 19 2018 - ALLSTON Massachusetts - Brighton Music Hall (USA)
Thu September 20 2018 - BROOKLYN New York - Music Hall Of Williamsburg (USA)
Fri September 21 2018 - WASHINGTON District of Columbia - Rock & Roll Hotel (USA)
Sun September 23 2018 - CHICAGO Illinois - Lincoln Hall (USA)
Mon September 24 2018 - MINNEAPOLIS Minnesota - 7th Street Entry (USA)

Click here to compare & buy Arthur Buck Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

Let Us Know What You Think - Leave A Comment!

You May Also Like:

Never Bored: Ugly-Pop Band Skating Polly Discuss Life On Tour
Mon 10 Sep 2018
Wanderlust is a word usually associated with gap years and middle aged people who want a fancy way of saying they’re bored with the life they’ve made for themselves.
Grin Through The Dark Stuff: The Dirty Nil Return With The Mighty 'Master Volume'
Tue 11 Sep 2018
Towards the end of Pain of Infinity, one of the singles from the Dirty Nil’s new record ‘Master Volume’, Luke Bentham drawls “and another thing, baby...” before ripping a guitar solo. He gets back to the microphone in time to yell: “I never loved you and I hate your friends.” The frontman is inconsiderately handsome, and has been known to play a Gibson Les Paul mid-knee slide while chewing bubblegum and wearing a star-spangled denim cowboy shirt.
Light, Love and Lineage: Amy Helm Keeps Her Family's Fire Burning
Thu 27 Sep 2018
Photo: Ebru Yildiz To some people music is much more than just a form of entertainment or artistic expression. On her latest solo album ‘This Too Shall Light’ Amy Helm, daughter of the Band’s legendary singing drummer Levon Helm and singer-songwriter Libby Titus, has not only crafted a beautiful collection of gospel-infused Americana gems, but also a record with a rich sense of heritage dripping from every note.
New Faces, New Sound: How Federal Charm Moved Forwards on 'Passenger'
Tue 18 Sep 2018
Imagine being in a rock ‘n’ roll band with two albums under your belt and a fistful of big-name support slots in the bank. Imagine you spent the best part of a decade building a fanbase. Then, just as you’re preparing to make that all important third album, imagine waving goodbye to half the group. Do you wallow in self-pity? Wave the white flag and call it quits? Or recruit two new members and bounce back with your strongest album to date.
Making A Big Noise Is Fun: Inside The Weird And Wonderful World Of HMS Morris
Wed 26 Sep 2018
Let’s start with some advice from Heledd Watkins and Sam Roberts, who are the backbone of the Welsh-speaking, genre-melding psych-pop band HMS Morris: “Expect the unexpected.”
Stop Standing Still: The Goon Sax Evolve On The Rich, Ambitious 'We're Not Talking'
Mon 17 Sep 2018
Photo: Ben O'Connor Louis Forster keeps forgetting something. He’s at his band’s rehearsal room picking up some gear. They’re going on tour; landing in London and moving on to an opening night in Glasgow after the long trip over from Brisbane. They’re pretty much good to go.
Poetry Versus Precision: Estrons Talk 'You Say I'm Too Much, I Say You're Not Enough'
Fri 05 Oct 2018
Photo: Imogen Forte When Estrons vocalist Tali Källström played a test pressing of the band’s debut album to a friend, their response was easy to remember. “It sounds like you’ve dipped in and had sex with every genre,” they said. Well, they’re not wrong.
Attan - End Of (Album Review)
Wed 19 Sep 2018
Attan released their debut EP, ‘From Nothing’, three years ago. There wasn’t a whole lot of fanfare, just positive rumblings and a few ‘ones to watch’ recommendations. Anyone who saw the band during that period got it, though. The Norwegians’ sludge-tinged, blackened hardcore was radicalised in the live arena as vocalist Remi Semshaug Langseth went walkabout during the cathartic seven minute epic Edward. He screamed in faces, slapped his heart onto his sleeve and then carved it open for all to see.
< Prev   Next >