Buck Meek, Two Saviors, Keeled Scales | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Thursday, July 7th, 2022  

Two Saviors

Keeled Scales

Jan 19, 2021 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

On his second album away from Big Thief, Buck Meek leads off with an effort to broaden our vocabulary. “Pareidolia,” the song, and pareidolia, the word, relate to seeing objects in things where none was intended to appear. Think seeing the Virgin Mary in the contour of a cornflake. Meek also has multiple songs here that reference heterochromia (having two different eye colors), yet that word fortunately does not appear in the songs. For all its efforts to communicate, Two Saviors, ends up being as inscrutable as the concepts it tries to put forth.

Recorded primarily with the same talented batch of musicians as Meek’s self-titled 2018 release, the prior album had an endearing back road charm to it as Meek recounted the settings and characters of his boyhood. Presuming his vocal vernacular is authentic, it suited those songs well, but less so here. Particularly as he adds extended flat notes to go with a seesawing low and high register. This stands out on the first two tracks where he presents as Green Acres’ Mr. Haney asked to sing for his supper. The added affectation and high-minded ideas make it hard to pierce the veil of meaning.

Two Saviors isn’t without its highlights though. Once you get past the first songs, “Second Sight” finds Meek in a more “normal” voice and the song’s chiming rhythms give way to a gently soaring chorus. And Meek does make an emotional connection on “Dream Daughter,” relating a childless marriage to a “candle on the altar.” While the revisit to the prior album on “Cannonball! Pt. 2,” with its twinkling stride piano runs, is a late album winner. There is certainly a place for Meek outside of Big Thief, he may just be trying a bit too hard here to play the educated hayseed. (www.buckmeekmusic.com)

Author rating: 6/10

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