Album Review: Bucky Covington’s Self Titled Debut
When Bucky Covington was on American Idol, I rooted for him because he was so unapologetically country. I didn’t think he was good enough to win and certainly didn’t think I would enjoy any album he put out when compared to artists already in the game, but as an amateur on American Idol, he was my man. Bucky’s self titled debut album, however, suprised me.
The album starts of with “American Friday Night,” a sweet southern rocker of a song that honors life in a small town, although the town he sings about must be quite a bit bigger than the one I grew up, because we didn’t have a Domino’s pizza or a movie theater. I personally didn’t think Covington could sound this good; it’s definitely his sweet spot.
Next up is “A Different World,” the lead single off of his album recollects the way things used be when he was a kid. The difference in sound between this and the rest of the album is startling and I might feel gypped if I bought the album expecting more of the same. On its own, the song stands up fairly well, I kinda enjoy it, so it isn’t a terrible track. I also thinks it highlights the difference between rural and urban America. Where the song could seem nostalgic from the perspective of an urbanite, it merely focuses on the changes that lag behind in rural areas.
“I’ll Walk” follows and despite having a different sound yet again, it’s a solid offering, but not representative of what I think is Bucky’s strong suit. The fourth song, “Back When We Were Gods,” jumps back to a slight southern rock sound, where Bucky shines. The title is a play on the old adage about teenagers thinking they know more than anybody and their belief that they’re ready to take on the world and is reflected in this lyric: “Thought we were invincible, couldn’t nothing bring us down / But it didn’t take long for the real world to knock us flat on the ground.”
Convington continues showing his strength with “Ain’t No Thing.” Even though I think this is the style that Bucky should stick with, I didn’t particularly care for this song because it sounds like he’s shouting to be heard over the music. It could have been better. “I’m Good” is reminiscent of something Clay Walker would sing, but I don’t think Bucky has the chops to pull it off; this attempt certainly doesn’t.
The seventh track, “Empty Handed,” is a high energy rocker that starts off strong, but somewhere in the middle of the song, the lyrics become rushed and watered down and killed the song for me. In the context of the album, Bucky’s next number, “Hometown,” seems a bit trite in its rehashing of the theme of nostalgia and love of the rural life. On its own, though, it’s a solid song with a solid delivery. “It’s Good To Be Us” is an upbeat, fast paced track, with a catchy tune, but it’s a little too close to pop and doesn’t fit Bucky’s style. “Carolina Blue” is a bland vocal performance and highlights how limited Covington is vocally, as he shows almost no range. The slight smokiness that works in his rockers flops on this one.
The final song, “Bible And The Belt,” ends the album on a strong note, and who woulda thunk it, but it’s another rocker. It makes me wish the producers would have figured out what he was good at and stuck to it.
Overall, the album seems to be Bucky’s tribute to the styles of country music that he loves; it was all over the place. The problem is that he doesn’t do a good job of letting people know who he is or what they can expect from him. My advice to Bucky is: stick to the southern rock, buddy. I think if people give Bucky a chance, though, they might just enjoy him. I realize he’s not the latest Nashville heartthrob, might look a little goofy, and doesn’t have the most powerful voice, but I think it makes him a little more human and easier to relate to.
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