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Music Review - `The Waiting Game` by Buford Pope (jm)

Buford Pope- The Waiting Game (click on image to watch video)

 25 December 2019



Buford Pope (known by his family as Mikael Liljeborg) may have a name that sounds like a confederate soldier and a strong Americana vibe to match, but despite more than half a dozen albums to his name, he has yet to make much of a dent in the U.S. There’s a good chance The Waiting Game could change that.  

Spread across 12 tracks, the Swedish musician deftly blends folk with classic Americana to showcase his beautiful, often subtle vocals. The album starts off a bit slow, with the somber opener “America” and the equally stark “Hey Hey Ana,” but by the time he segues into “Hard Life,” the record takes on an impressively nuanced blend of melancholy and beauty. Like many in the genre, Pope unsurprisingly cites Bob Dylan as one of his primary influences, but it’s what he does with that influence that impresses. Like Dylan, Pope is good with a clever turn of phrase, but it’s his delivery, never forced but somehow still commanding, that makes him stand out among his peers.

Songs like “A Hundred,” with its stomp along rhythm and swampy guitar, or the seemingly straightforward, but powerful “Wanna Say I’m Sorry Before I Die,” have all the hallmarks of enduring singalongs and you could easily imagine these tracks catching fire with fans of The Lumineers or Iron & Wine. By the time the album closes with “Ninety-Nine,” a reworked piano-heavy take on “A Hundred,” complete with borrowed lyrics, it’s clear that Pope has hit his stride, turning in his most consistently strong record to date.        


Music Reviewer - John Moore  

John B. Moore has been covering the seemingly disparate, but surprisingly complimentary genres of Americana and punk rock for the past 20 years.

Blurt/New Noise Magazine/InSite Atlanta/NeuFutur Magazine

twitter @jbmoore00

To Read All of John's Reviews, Click Here






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