After living in Paris for two years, Buck 65 told me in an interview that a greater sense of beauty would pervade his upcoming album. There would be strings, French lyrics, female voices. It's true. While his last album, Talkin' Honky Blues, won Junos, this album has the true artistic breadth of a name-building, international breakout album - lots of pop appeal with an experimental feel, brainy but danceable, and still characteristically hard to slot. On The Suffering Machine he stays true to his acoustic spoken blues poetry raps, but the production's never been more lush, with a minor-key, brooding cinematic western mood and a slight Radiohead feel. But these are definitely not all Johnny Cash/Tom Waits grumbling narrative meanderings - Buck is doing stuff here you've never heard before. Devil's Eyes is a weird vocorded orchestral-based male/female duet. He steps up the flow over a banjo on Blood Of A Young Wolf. It's a hit.
Buck 65 hits the Mod Club July 12.