Posts Tagged ‘Them Buffalo’

Earlier in the year, Swedish singer-songwriter Tom Levin released the album Them Feet. The album combined many different styles of music to create a sound that could only be described as Americana. The tracks on the release featured a nice balance of Rock and Roll, Country and other styles. That sound helped create an album that had plenty of variety in it and that variety helped make the album very strong.

Now, a few months later and Tom Levin is back with a new release of music. And just like the previous album, Levin once again creates songs that take many different musical styles and blend them together. The new release from Tom Levin is called Them Buffalo.

Them Buffalo from Tom Levin begins with the “title track” of the release. The music in “Thunder On” features a very strong banjo presence that is mixed together with a musical feeling that could be rock and roll. The two styles blend together to create a strong track that has a groove that is very infectious.

The album continues with the track “Mind’s Eye”. The track contains a folk-like feel to the lyrics as Levin sings about looking for the good in everyone. The music of the track features a very strong beat while also drawing from music that feels very primal in its nature. The addition of a choral feeling to the background vocals adds even more depth to the track. The various layers in the music create a song that grabs the listener’s attention right from the beginning.

Tom Levin adds a bit more rock feel to his music on the song “Everyday”. The guitar on the track helps add a lot of energy to the album. The repetitive nature and simplicity of the lyrics in the song’s refrain creates a track that will have the listener singing along. “Everyday” is easily one of the best tracks on the new release from Levin.

“Everyday” is a song that has a very strong beat. By comparison, the track “Different Drum” finds Tom Levin easing up on the energy a little. The track has a slower beat as well as gentler approach to the music itself. The track also contains a strong drumbeat that plays on the title of the track. The folk-rock featured in the track is an interesting change of pace from the music that came before on the album. “Different Drum” is split into two parts as the first three and a half minutes contains the lyrics before the energy level is picked up and the song plays out.

Tom Levin brings the energy level of the music back up on the track “More than a Song”. While the majority of the music on Them Buffalo was created combining styles of music, “More than a Song” seems to find Levin focusing the sound of the music in a rock direction. In fact, with the strong keyboard base to the track, it feels as if it belongs with the music that would have been grouped in with the New Wave music of the 1980s. The track also adds a bit of romance with the emotional feeling in the lyrics. And just like the track “Different Drum,” Levin allows the track to play out well after the last lyrics have been sung.

On the track “Girl from Nova Scotia,” Tom Levin adds just a little humor to the album. The track turns out to be a backhanded compliment to the subject of the song. While it might not have been intentional, the music of the track brings to mind the sound and feel of the music from the London-based Celtic band The Pogues. The song feels like one of that band’s most laidback tunes.

For the second time in a year, Swedish singer-songwriter Tom Levin has released a very strong album. When taken apart, the two albums of Them Feet and Them Buffalo truly show off the versatility in Levin’s writing style. When taken together, the two releases make for a very enjoyable listening experience.

Reviewer: Matheson Kamin Rating: **** (four stars)

To experience the Them Buffalo release from Tom Levin, click HERE.