Bucket

Bucket

by Mando Saenz
     
 
Mexican-born Texan Mando Saenz makes his sophomore album a launching point for what should be a significant career. Inventively produced by R. S. Field, with captivating songs both self-penned and collaborative (with Kim Richey and Will Kimbrough, notably), Bucket also boasts inspired musical support from guitarists Kenny Vaughn and Richard Bennett, among

Overview

Mexican-born Texan Mando Saenz makes his sophomore album a launching point for what should be a significant career. Inventively produced by R. S. Field, with captivating songs both self-penned and collaborative (with Kim Richey and Will Kimbrough, notably), Bucket also boasts inspired musical support from guitarists Kenny Vaughn and Richard Bennett, among others. Saenz locks into a captivating, unsettling mood from the outset of the ethereal guitars-and-tablas-driven soundscape of "Wrong Guy," a different kind of bitter kiss-off number in which the narrator is less assured of having the last laugh than he is of his lingering resentment. At the other end of the emotional spectrum, the guitar stomp of "I Don't Like It" evokes more immediate emotions of impatience and longing. Thus the paradox of Bucket: The light and the dark are barely distinguishable, and Saenz's songs illustrate how easily one can mutate into the other. Possessed of an unsteady sense of order in matters of the heart, Saenz's sound and phrasing have the laconic flavor of a backwoods Rufus Wainwright, not as overtly dramatic but every bit as bruised, yet always looking for a reason to believe. Saenz never fully emerges into daybreak: in the album's tender closing ballad, "Last Goodbye," amid a lush backdrop keyed by violin and piano, he ponders whether to self-medicate himself into oblivion but in the next breath invites a return visit from his lost love. As Mickey and Sylvia observed long ago, love is strange.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jason MacNeil
Mando Saenz has a bevy of musicians around him, perhaps because a good portion of the material that he brings to this record is so inviting and strong, roots-saturated and with ample heaps of Americana sprinkled throughout. Bucket opens with the light, folksy "Wrong Guy," bringing to mind a cross between an acoustic version of Gin Blossoms mixed with the BoDeans. Meanwhile, the singer/songwriter revs things up with punchy power pop oozing out of "Pocket of Red," which has a few Keith Richards-like riffs. Saenz's strong pop sensibilities -- in the vein of Tim Finn -- are readily apparent during the midtempo, melancholic "A Touch Is All," which shifts gears for verse two. That isn't to say that everything comes up smelling like roses, as "Seven Dollars" is good but sounds a bit like Saenz is going through the motions rather safely. However, perhaps the song is a "grower" after a few listens. What is quickly deemed to be a keeper is the solid, tender roots pop propelling "In the Back of Your Mind," which could be mistaken for a cover of a Ryan Adams gem. The same can be said for "All Grown Up" and its lovely duet with Kim Richey. The closing one-two combination of "Candy Red," with its precious alt-country foundation, and the alluring "Last Goodbye" makes this album flow with ease.

Product Details

Release Date:
02/05/2008
Label:
Thirty Tigers
UPC:
0899537000726
catalogNumber:
370007

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Mando Saenz   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Vocals
Steve Cohn   Bass,Keyboards
Richard Rodney Bennett   Electric Guitar
Richard Bennett   Electric Guitar
R.S. Field   Percussion,Electric Guitar
David Grissom   Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Acoustic Bass
Shaun McWilliams   Drums
Russ Pahl   Pedal Steel Guitar
Carmella Ramsey   Background Vocals
Kim Richey   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Kenny Vaughan   Electric Guitar
Jason Lehning   Bass,Keyboards
Chris Carmichael   Dulcimer,Fiddle,Mandolin,Strings,Violin,Cello,Glockenspiel,Ukulele,Viola,Bazouki
Richard McLaurin   Bass,Bass Guitar,Slide Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Tony Crow   Organ,Piano
Kirsten O'Rourke   Background Vocals
Brian Glenn   Bass,Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Ken Lewis   Percussion,Drums
Mike Noble   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin
Kirsten O'Rourke   Background Vocals
Siobhan Kennedy   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

R.S. Field   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Kim Richey   Composer
Will Kimbrough   Composer
Richard McLaurin   Engineer,Audio Production
Frank Liddell   Executive Producer
Mando Saenz   Composer

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