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Clarence BucaroClarence Bucaro
Album: Pendulum
Label: Twenty Twenty
Tracks: 10

Cleveland-born and Brooklyn-based, Bucaro's been releasing albums since 2002, this being his ninth, accruing comparisons to Jackson Browne, Paul Simon and Van Morrison along the way. I don't personally hear Morrison, but the lovely slow swaying opening track definitely puts me in mind of Justin Rutledge, not an accolade I throw around at random.

There's a crooner quality to his approach and, save for the Simonesque lilting almost calpsyo bounce of "Girl In The Photograph", the tracks here are laid back and mellow, not melancholic exactly, but many tinged with clouds of sadness, as, for example, "Strangers", a far too short strummed ballad co-penned with Allison Moorer, who also duets, about how once close relationships can drift apart, the fear of loss that haunts "Love Like The Last Chance" and the bittersweet ache of "My Heart Won't" where he sings "I want to believe you when you tell me you love me …. but my heart won't". That said, "Tragedy" spins things around with the bruised narrator refusing to become part of his former lover's emotional drama.

There's no grey clouds over "Watching You Grow", however, imbued with a father's love, wonder and pride at watching their child grow, "Barcelona", a nostalgic revisiting of the place he had his honeymoon, percussion tapped out on his guitar, or the slow march, dreamily swaying nuances of love song to his wife, "Emerald Eyes", with its jazz-tinted piano. Bucaro's voice and music has been described as being like warm molasses. I suggest you spread him thickly over your ears.

Mike Davies