Buck 65
Situation


4.0
excellent

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
October 24th, 2007 | 16 replies | 9,660 views


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Canada's greatest rapper drops another gem.

Right off the bat, Situation tricks you into thinking many things, most of which turn out to be false. It's the gloomy, pinao-led "1957" that does it - rather like "3030" (from Deltron 3030), it sounds like the start of a concept album about the year in question. In fact, many reviews have sold this as a concept album; yet, this is the only song that fits that concept in any concrete sense, as Buck simply uses the idea as a licence to namedrop and reference anything and everyone that pops into his head. Within the first five tracks, you've got The Stooges, The Buzzcocks, Link Wray, Ed Gein, Thelonius Monk, and Sid Vicious, among many others. So you're now thinking that after brief flirtations with a mainstream hip-hop audience, a rock audience, and a bunch of people who seemed to think he was the new Tom Waits, Buck 65 has given up and explicitly courted the one audience he can most easily please - the music obsessives. Who else would listen to a whole album like this? Even LCD Soundsystem mostly confined it to two songs.

And yet, by "Spread 'Em", he's rapping about prison sex. It's good to have you back, Buck.

Those drawn into Buck 65's world either by the cult comedy hip-hop classic "The Centaur" or by the two sleeper hits that made Talkin' Honky Blues his most popular record to date ("463" and "Wicked & Weird") will be delighted with Situation, as will those who were just a little disappointed by 2005's muted, occasionally depressive Secret House Against The World. Putting the inspiration behind these tracks aside, Situation is a collection of fast-talking, slickly performed rap songs - essentially, by returning to a sound more in line with traditional hip-hop, he's playing to his strengths. The general idea of the '50s does weave in and out of the album - there's a song about Bettie Page, for instance - but don't mistake it for a concept. That might imply it interferes with his natural talent, creative freedom, and lyrical flair, and that's certainly not the case.

Unbelievably, this is Buck 65's tenth album, not including the album he recorded under the Stinkin' Rich moniker. These albums have come within ten years, which makes it even more remarkable that Buck still has enough creative juice within himself to make albums this fun, this inventive, and this impressive. In fact, this might just be his best album yet - it's at least on a par with Talkin' Honky Blues, which is enough for many fans to earkmark it as a return to form. Lyrically he's on fire throughout, perfecting his gift for making random nonsense sound like meaningful verse and vice versa. His voice - as subtly smooth as it is obviously rough - sounds as good as ever. Musically, he's still coming up with music from disparate sources and turning it into some of the best hip-hop around when it comes to balancing forward-looking ideas with mass appeal. Observe the space-age ska rhythm guitar on "The Rebel", or the power-pop inspired lines on "Heatwave", or the beautiful flamenco backing given to "The Outskirts" (a distant cousin of Immortal Technique's "You Never Know"). All these songs are guitar-dominated - like much of Buck's stuff, the guitar work here is as accomplished as any you'll find in most rap, even if only for the fact that Buck does more to acknowledge the diversity of the instrument than most. EVen on the more downbeat songs here - "Mr. Nobody", particularly - there's a sense of humour that's more finely tuned than it was on Secret House. It's consistently great stuff - this is among the best hip-hop albums of the year by my reckoning.

Che Guevara? Rock star? *** off.



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user ratings (30)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Also Recommended by Reviewer:
white people lol


Jom
Staff Reviewer
October 24th 2007



2595 Comments


hahahaha

Tyler
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



7924 Comments


I hate this guy so much.

McP3000
October 24th 2007



3941 Comments


Che Guevera*

McP3000
October 24th 2007



3941 Comments


And i can't believe you gave this album a 4.

Tyler
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



7924 Comments



Che Guevera*

Guevara

Iai
Emeritus
October 24th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Fixed. Should have left it as it was to annoy all the douchebags who wear t-shirts with his face on, though.

samthebassman
October 24th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awesome album, loving it at the moment although it doesn't reach the heights of Secret House... for me though.

Pretty great review.

jrowa001
October 25th 2007



8749 Comments


great review, i need some Buck 65. i have been going through a large downfall of rap and hip-hop lately

AtavanHalen
October 25th 2007



17927 Comments


Secret House was amazing.

Great review.

Iai
Emeritus
October 28th 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I loved Secret House when I heard it, but my opinion of it's dropped severely over time.

Mirror.Circuit
October 30th 2007



223 Comments


"that Buck still enough creative juice within"

Just in case you missed that.
I need to go pick this up today.

pulseczar
October 31st 2007



2385 Comments


I don't like Buck 65, but it's good to see some Canadian rappers break out of local obscurity every now and then. Not to say he hasn't been around for a while now.

Aficionado
October 31st 2007



1027 Comments


Why does the picture of this guy look like the frontman to some poopty indie-pop band?

Iai
Emeritus
October 31st 2007



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

white people

MassiveAttack
October 14th 2008



2684 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I thought this is Buck 65's best effort thus far, a little better than Talkin' Honky Blues



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