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Surrounded

2 customer reviews

Price: £12.74 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Music

Image of album by Richard Buckner

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Biography

“There are three kinds of American folk artist: those who sit, contented, on a back porch contemplating America's landscape and ways; those for whom its landscape and ways are something to stand against or move boldly through; and those whose America is a shadowy, impressionistic place that moves inside of them. This [latter] is the area that the sombre-voiced Richard Buckner has ... Read more in Amazon's Richard Buckner Store

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Surrounded
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  • Bloomed
Total price: £24.18
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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Sept. 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Merge Records
  • ASIN: B00DBAUD1C
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 145,617 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Surrounded
2. When You Tell Me How It Is
3. Beautiful Question
4. Foundation
5. Portrait
6. Mood
7. Go
8. Cut
9. Lean-To

Product Description

In the time since Our Blood was released and after a few long tours, Richard Buckner attempted to work on writing short stories but found himself drawn back into the music room. The evidence of his time in the writer's chair is clear in the dense, lovely prose of Surrounded. The album's liner notes include text-embedded lyrics, a technique Buckner employed on his earlier albums Since and Impasse, but this marks the first time he used the songs' extended story to construct the album's overall view and track sequence. Throwing out the 'tricks and trades' of his previous efforts, Buckner hunkered down at home and chose a few unfamiliar pieces of gear a Suzuki QChord electronic autoharp and an Electro-Harmonix POG2 pedal to create basic tracks and open up more sonic possibilities. 'The best outcomes happen sometimes when I'm unfamiliar with the tool that I'm using (imagine MacGyver wearing a dog cone).' The now-infamous process of recording and re-recording Our Blood left him a bit gun-shy, so this time, Buckner decided to get each song out of his house as soon as it was finished to avoid the contamination of over-thinking. After hearing an interview with famed producer Tucker Martine, Buckner found a destination for his songs: 'Tucker understood the urgency in me to tie the whole thing up before I fell into the same trap that I'd had finishing Our Blood and was generous enough to move other commitments around to fit Surrounded in. When I had finally finished Our Blood, I felt like I'd just survived a stroll through a mine field. With Surrounded, it was more of a sensation that I'd successfully organized a messy desk.'

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By simon birkett on 23 April 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Following on from 'Our Blood' another interestingly different album, combining acoustic guitar with a palate of electric 'noises' and keyboards. His voice sounds great here, perhaps better than on previous outings, and there are more immediately catchy songs than on his last album...yet I still prefer 'Our Blood'' overall. The thing is Richard Buckners albums are all 'growers' and reward repeated listening...so in a few months time 'Surrounded' could well reveal itself as the best Buckner ever !

As an aside the vinyl version of the album not only sounds great, it also allows my ageing eyes to follow the lyrical thread of the songs !
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Format: Audio CD
I have been following, liking and enjoying Buckner since his Bloomed album.
Maybe he has not changed that much since then but he has developed his version of folk to near perfection.
There was always a bit of search in Buckner's album, like he was hearing something in his head that didn't materialize when recorded. His journey has been to develop clever lyrics sung in a way that it becomes part of the music, and the music in itself (specially the guitar) becomes part of the voice, the physical Buckner's voice as well as the alter voice of his music.
There was always a kind of nearly hit impression in many of his songs but on this cd he reaches a groove that will be hard to beat.
I am eagerly waiting to hear what comes next, for the moment I have returned again to his catalog.

Highly recommended to anyone!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Haunting electronica-backed folk 22 Nov. 2013
By hyperbolium - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Though he'd released two indie albums in the mid-90s, Richard Buckner arrived in most listeners' ears with his 1997 major label debut, Devotion + Doubt. His voice and delivery were unlike just about anyone who'd come before. His early music found cover under the Americana umbrella, but even then the steel, fiddle and vocal edgings that signaled country were balanced by strong elements of folk, pop, rock and jazz. His weary vocals played as hushed confessions, and his impressionistic lyrics were filled with fragments, shards really, of his recently ended marriage. For all but the few who'd latched on to him earlier, it was a breathtaking introduction.

His two albums with MCA led to another indie stint and a 2004 landing at Merge. A string of misfortunes (including a failed soundtrack opportunity, an inadvertent brush with the law and technical difficulties) led to a five-year gap between 2006's Meadow and 2011's Our Blood. But now, with comparative ease, he's produced an album backed with ambient electronic textures, tape loops and layered vocals. Buckner's trilled notes can suggest Randy Travis or George Jones, but the atmospheric backgrounds, such as on "When You Tell Me How It Is," frame his voice similarly to Roxy Music-era Bryan Ferry.

Buckner's lyrics continue in the redacted vein of his earlier work, sketching unmet expectations, tenacity, anxiety and other shadowy emotions. The music follows suit, with a throbbing background for "Mood" and a melancholy optimism in "Go." The ambient backing tracks provide a surprisingly good fit for what is essentially folk music. But this folk music has a haunted soul, and the electronics are grounded by finger-picked acoustic guitars. The things you've loved about Richard Buckner's earlier records are still here, but he's stretched out to new timbres that underline his songs with moody electronic textures. [©2013 Hyperbolium]
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Back in the celestial realm of clouds 5 Sept. 2013
By Laura J. Walker - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ah, i wish i could write like Buckner. Then i would just put little snippets of thoughts in here that had no linear order and on one level made so much sense they were pointless, but on another spoke volumes. But i can't. So i will just have to say, "Surrounded" is another world. Well, it's Buckner's world, which, if you are drawn to it, is always a great place to be, but never so joyfully as when in the presence of new versions that intrigue and mystify while lifting you into a far removed reality. What can i say but "sublime."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Inspired songs flow through Buckner from a pure spring 1 April 2014
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
With SURROUNDED, Richard Buckner continues to produce music on a high plateau of inspiration and craft. This is a superb album from a musician whose skill, inspiration, and level of accomplishment continue to grow, unbeknownst to the world at large. The song "Beautiful Question" would be a massive radio hit in a minimally sensible world. If you have not heard this, or his previous two, MEADOW (2006) and OUR BLOOD (2011), you will be amazed!

Everything on this album was performed by Buckner himself, including the electric auto-harp which is hauntingly featured on several tracks. As he says in the CD inset, "All racket was made by me in my room." The lyrics began as part of Buckner's fiction, but were extracted for songs. The lyric sheet includes part of the larger texts, indicating the lines taken for the album.

Buckner has grown into a superb songwriter. His recent albums are jam-packed with great songs with strong melodies, hooks, arrangements, and oblique, evocative lyrics. Buckner consistently conveys complex moods that I suspect most of us experience, but they are so evanescent that they never fully register. What is common to most is dissatisfaction and yearning, a perfect expression of the Buddhist concept of dukkha (dissatisfaction). This is basic to the human condition, and recognizing that it is impossible to eliminate (without eliminating thirst/craving -- tanha) is the beginning of peace and wisdom.

Don't miss the older, wiser Richard Buckner -- he is making music now better than in his younger, higher profile days as an alt.country singer!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
album of the year 29 Nov. 2013
By Mois Benarroch - WRITER - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have been following, liking and enjoying Buckner since his Bloomed album.
Maybe he has not changed that much since then but he has developed his version of folk to near perfection.
There was always a bit of search in Buckner's album, like he was hearing something in his head that didn't materialize when recorded. His journey has been to develop clever lyrics sung in a way that it becomes part of the music, and the music in itself (specially the guitar) becomes part of the voice, the physical Buckner's voice as well as the alter voice of his music.
There was always a kind of nearly hit impression in many of his songs but on this cd he reaches a groove that will be hard to beat.
I am eagerly waiting to hear what comes next, for the moment I have returned again to his catalog.

Highly recommended to anyone!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Good, Not Great, Not His Best Effort 6 Nov. 2013
By gloworm - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I want to make it clear that SURROUNDED is the kind of record that may take 6 months to a year to put in proper perspective, but since I'm regularly going to get nagged to write one now, I'll go ahead.

Richard Buckner continues to write some truly gorgeous songs, and I understand it's unreasonable to expect them all to be as good as the best; that's why they're the best. Buckner's previous release, OUR BLOOD, was widely criticized as being "over-thought", and it was said he was too fastidious in trying to get it just right. I never got that; I still don't. I think, after SINCE, OUR BLOOD is his second best.

I'd say SURROUNDED currently stands between SURROUNDED and OUR BLOOD in my estimation. But with Buckner's work, proper evaluation can take YEARS; I'm STILL trying to figure out where MEADOW sits in his pantheon of works.

A hearty recommendation: go to the Merge Records website and pay to download the online-only single WILLOW/LOST. It stands with Buckner's finest work, and is well worth the price of the download. You'll be glad I told you to!
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