Clarence Bucaro/The Hardest Parts/2020
3.5 out of Five Stars
Videos by American Songwriter
Clarence Bucaro is an exceptional singer/songwriter, so excellent in fact that he comfortably finds a fit within any number of contemporary musical genres. The Hardest Parts is no exception, a collection of mostly mellow, meandering melodies that affirm his penchant for crafting soothing songs that are absolutely enticing and, in turn, supple and seductive. He offers an abundance of material here, some 16 songs in all, but there’s nothing rushed or urgent about this album, given the fact that the emphasis is on charm and Bucaro’s typical easy, amiable ramble.
That said, there are any number of highlights—the sweet sentiment that illuminates “Old Friend,” the poppier proposition forwarded through “Let Me Let Go,” the beautiful balladry of “Heart Like Glass,” “Walk Away Slow,” “Out of the Blue,” “Scream If You Want To,” and “One More Night In Sedona,” and, ultimately, the catchy, utterly compelling chorus that elevates “Vertigo.” Mostly though, the charms slowly work their way under the skin, the subtlety and suggestion gradually gaining hold through the benefit of continued listening. The arrangements are somewhat sparse, imbuing the music with a kind of fragile finesse. Bucaro’s a ballad singer after all, and it’s those delicate designs and the subtle suggestion that continues to define his musical persona overall.
In a certain sense, The Hardest Parts easily flows as a whole, a suite of songs that convey clarity, concern, and a sense of abject emotion through sweetness and sincerity. And while it may seem out of sync with a rude and noisy world, it’s also a welcome respite in terms of its calming caress. Flush with that soothing embrace, it’s nothing less than a tender tapestry of pure mood and melody. Ultimately then, The Hardest Parts allows for effortless engagement.
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