Buck 65 could read a shopping list or even my last rights and I would love it, so I guess I am not the best person to write a review of his music. I think this is his eleventh album (I lost count ages ago) and it sees a real departure from the previous works. He is known for his hobo like musings about life, love, shoe-shine and just about anything -and all this over self-crafted beats and soundscapes. But here we see a new musical injection that at first jars, as it is not what we expect from Buck, but then we realise that the very thing we love about this guy is his freedom from any genre, collective or type and we are right back loving him again.
There are some sublime moments of real beauty here and most of them come with the new inclusion of a female voice that sits so pretty next to the Waits style growl of Buck. We first see this new combo on ‘The Suffering Machine, ‘ a gentle, acoustic led song full of heart wrenching sadness about a lost soul ambling aimlessly from place to place with no friends and waiting for the “Black angel,” to carry him down. On his web site, Buck reviews his own albums. He says that this album has what was missing all along and that is melody, female voice and lushness Well this song has all of that. I never thought a hip hop song could bring tears to my eyes but The Floor does just that. You listen with open mouth as he tells the story of his abusive father coming home and throwing "the goldfish to the cat on the kitchen floor" while his beaten and down trodden mother just smiled "the saddest smile I’ve ever seen in my life."
Buck has grown up with this album. It is about serious stuff and though it has all the profound musings that we have come to expect, the musical composition adds weight to the words and it’s truly moving. Buck gives it three out of five on his site but I will see that and raise it.