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4.8 out of 5 stars16
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 3 March 2012
The White Buffalo, aka Jake Smith, has a voice that is his premier instrument and quality on this debut release. It has the warble of Eddie Vedder and at times the depth of Richie Havens on the slower acoustic numbers, and a gravelly combination of both when growled on rockier, country-tinged numbers.

Opener 'Ballad of a Deadman' is a lamenting, anti-war song that recounts the loss of everyman in every war with pedal steel empathising in its plaintive strains before the voice rises briefly in anger. Second 'How The West Was Won' is a rousing, Irish folk with country banjo onslaught, the lyrics telling its harsh story 'I'm a fxxkup girl. It's how I live my life. I wish I knew how to treat you right' before the narrator contemplates 'Shall I end it all?' This leads into the stomping 'The Pilot' with the distinctive amalgam of vocal highlighted above highlighted. Fourth 'The Lone Night' slows the pace again and is the most Vedderesque in sound - these alludings meant as reference point and compliment.

Indeed, it is this vocal that carries all the songs - all good enough and absorbing in their moment of being heard. But I haven't come across that stand-out track yet and it isn't therefore the songwriting that pushes to the front in the aural queue. That said, best track for me is 'Wish It Was True' which is a more varied acoustic number with a string accompaniment that adds an appropriate emotional nuance to the other clear strength of this album, the lyrics tackling complex ideas and issues. Live performances of this can easily be found online, and quality makes itself known quite clearly here.
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on 7 April 2013
This album was one of those rare gems - an impulse purchase based on catching one song on the radio , scribbling the artist's name on the back of an old water bill and then later thinking - why not ! Normally this results in another CD in my collection that I take one or tracks from for a compilation whilst banishing the album to the back of the top shelf. But not this one - Once Upon A Time In The West is firmly on the favourites shelf, with my attachment to it growing with each listen. His voice reminds me of a rockier Steve Earle or a more country Pete Yorn or even an angrier Townes VZ. It's not a pretty voice - it growls its anger and disappointment at you but I find it hard to disagree with what it says and the vignettes his lyrics conjure up stay with you long after the song ends. A country mile away from the manufactured pap being sold to us in spangly dresses - thank heavens. Write it down - The White Buffalo - and don't lose that scrap of paper.
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on 23 December 2013
From the first to last track 5 stars for all the different styles work well together
One of my favourite albums this year
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on 21 July 2015
Like many others, I stumbled across White Buffalo accidentally. Hearing a song and that voice I thought 'my Dad would like this' and scribbled down the name on a scrap bit of paper and shoved it in my pocket. I bought this album for my dad, but he didn't get it, well, he did eventually but a different copy. One listen and I was hooked, just one listen. Every song was poetic and beautifully orchestrated, I instantly bought every other album and I was not disappointed. Jake Smith pours his soul into each song and if you buy this album, or any other, you'll become an instant fan. Promise!
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on 29 September 2014
My only music review. This big beardy guy can really sing rock/blues/country in a growly heart jerkin' foot stompin' roughty toughty way. Real hearty music, with surprisingly complex sounds, played by non pretentious people who clearly love what they do. Mr Buffalo, you made me very happy. Rock on.
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on 1 June 2014
Brilliant album!! a voice that is addictive like gravelly smoke and warm honey ...I literally cannot keep still whilst listening to the songs ...the Pilot being a good example...Eddie Vedder with a country, southern twist
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on 23 April 2014
Jake Smith has a fantastic voice and the album is one of my favourites. A few weaker tracks but still good enough to listen to.
And then some of the tracks are magical.
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on 3 November 2015
Heard this band for the first time whilst on holiday in Malta and just had to buy an album. Really enjoy this one and would love to see them live
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on 6 January 2016
Great voice and great song writing. Like all his work to date grows and grows on you with each listening.
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on 9 September 2015
bought it for somebody else & they enjoy it
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