Although Richard Buckner has lived on both coasts and in Canada, the singer-songwriter sounds like he's spent a lot of time in the South and in America's heartland. On 1998's Since, for example, he sings with a deep twang that's more Texas than Bay Area or Brooklyn. On all of his albums, Buckner's charcoal-coated voice — which at times recalls a deeper and more robust version of Centro-Matic's Will Johnson — works fine on the more upbeat tracks. But it's on the stripped-down acoustic numbers, like "Ariel Ramirez," where his vocals really burn heavy, often with a dark flame. On his most recent release, 2006's Meadow, Buckner mixes rocking cuts alongside starker ones, in keeping with the vibe of his earlier records — Bloomed, Impasse and The Hill, re-issued on the Merge imprint last month.
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