Solo Solace



Isolation seems to be a calling for some -- a restless state in which the mind is free to idle. Buckner's plaintive country package, Since, is a strange black dot that has absorbed lots of that energy in the form of crooked song-poems and a general frustration with the reality that makes their misery flow. He sings: "Awake tonight, I'll fall away to sometime until we meet/And how will you be to me while the passers go and the awhiles grow?/ With no rings to repay, no ghosts on the phone."

When there's nothing left to kick against but the time and space that drag and hold us so mercilessly -- in and out of love, creeping toward peril and helpless to control most of our own responses -- the world gets pretty dark. That's the place Buckner sings from with a fear of light coming in and busting up the whole party. But even the most abysmal plans get screwed up. The even-paced country dirges on this record build steadily toward a fragile, yet very present hope. Guitar and piano still plod along with their long, delicate expressions. Then finally, in the very last lines, hope arrives: "I dreamed of a couple dancing close and drunk in the spray of lights they made/And once I was dug up, I was sinking/But now I'm longing to be saved."

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