Country : Canada / South Africa Label : Columbia Genres and styles : Alt-Country / Country / Country Rock / Rockabilly Year : 2022

Orville Peck – Bronco

· by Luc Marchessault

Orville Peck’s musical progression can be measured by the withers: after Pony in 2019, here he is again with Bronco. Will his next album be called Percheron? We’ll see. The masked baritone has also changed stable: from the big indie Sub Pop, he went to the mega-major Columbia. Bronco was conceived in Nashville, more precisely at Jay Joyce’s Neon Cross studio. The latter, a big gun of pop-rock-country album production, was sitting at the console. We should applaud his work, for he did not subject Orville Peck to Nashvillian factory standards. Rather, Joyce has transformed his mighty production machine into a vehicle for creative growth and expansion: more songs, more forays into various country subgenres, more vocal highs, more harmonic and instrumental flourishes. Then, music lovers should be reminded that Peck, as a songwriter and a performer, does everything with taste. As Bronco‘s fifteen songs unfold, Orville’s vocals and lyrics stimulate a variety of emotions without getting bogged down. This is the equivalent of walking through a minefield without setting one off, given Peck’s new alliances and the nature of the industry. The way Peck pulls it off reminds us of the great era of Dwight Yoakam, 25 or 30 years ago. And Orville’s voice is comparable to that of Dave Alvin, once the lead singer of the legendary Blasters. Similarities include “The Curse of the Blackened Eye” and Lucinda Williams’ “2 Kool 2 B 4-Gotten,” “Let Me Drown” and Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down,” as well as “Any Turn” and “I’ve Been Everywhere,” made popular by Hank Snow and Johnny Cash, among others. In terms of allusions, we get the King himself in “Outta Time” (“She tells me she don’t like Elvis – I say, ‘I want a little less conversation, please’ “).

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