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

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

 23 December 2019



“I once suffered a bruising, a bitter defeat but you all raised your glasses when I was back on my feet/It is love that will cure your heart, but it was also love that first tore it apart”. That’s Buford Pope speaking to the resilience of the human spirit on “Hard Life,” a cut from his new album.

Buford Pope (ne’ Mikael Liljeborg), grew up on a Swedish island situated in the Baltic Sea. At age 15 he discovered Bob Dylan, that opened the door to other touchstones like Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, and Bruce Springsteen. But it was another 15 years before he picked up a guitar.

Once he began writing his own music, he hit the ground running. Between 2003 and 2017, he has recorded seven albums. He has just released his eighth, “The Waiting Game.” While his songwriting style follows the paradigm set by his musical heroes, his high lonesome vocals evoke comparison to Heartland Rocker Steve Forbert.

The album opens with “America,” a meandering piano ballad that offers a nuanced take on the immigrant experience. Songs like “Wanna Say I’m Sorry Before I Die,” “In My Hometown” and “Stoned” recall youthful indiscretions, moments of self-doubt and the inevitable growing pains. Stand-out tracks include the burnished “Five Minutes To Midnight,” then there’s “Tell Me What I Am” which offers a wry meditation on heartbreak. The Gospel-infected Blues of “A Hundred” receives vindication on the answer song, “Ninety-Nine.”

Finally, there’s the back porch,  banjo-riffic ramble of “First Blood.” Although he started this journey later than most,he has made up for the lost time. Even as “Hey Hey Aha” charts the struggle to write another love song, it’s clear that Buford has just begun.

Music Reviewer - Eleni P. AustinEleni P. Austin - I was born into a large, loud Greek family and spent my formative years in the Los Angeles enclaves of Laurel Canyon and Los Feliz. My mother moved us to the Palm Springs area just in time for puberty and Disco.  I have spent over 40 years working in record stores, starting back in High School.

I wrote music reviews for the Desert Sun from 1983 to 1988. I began doing the same for the Coachella Valley Weekly in 2012.

I live in Palm Springs with my wife and our amazing dog, Denver. 

To Read All of Eleni P.'s Reviews, Click Here





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