Buffalo Tom - 5 Album Box Set (5 CD) (Music CD)

Release Date: 19 August 2013
Artist: Buffalo Tom
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BUFFALO TOM

5 ALBUM BOX SET

 

 

 

When they released their first album in 1989, the Boston-based trio Buffalo Tom were written off as Dinosaur Jr. junior. Admittedly, their debut was in debt to J Mascis' thundering guitar and folk-tinged songs and it didn't help that Mascis produced the record, either. Over time, Buffalo Tom stripped away their grungier influences and developed into a straight-ahead rock group of the early '90s, capable of throttling rockers and beautiful ballads. Buffalo Tom began to develop their own style with their second album, 1990's Birdbrain, which featured a noticeable improvement in songwriting. In 1992, Buffalo Tom released Let Me Come Over, a gritty set of driving rock and achingly melancholy ballads; several of its tracks became alternative radio staples, including the gorgeous ballad "Taillights Fade." Despite an increased amount of critical praise and some radio airplay, the album didn't sell. The follow-up, 1993's Big Red Letter Day, featured a more polished, radio-ready production, but the album received only a small push from radio and MTV. "Soda Jerk," the first single from the album, became a minor alternative radio and MTV hit. After a yearlong tour, the group returned in the summer of 1995 with Sleepy Eyed, a return to the more direct sound of Let Me Come Over, following it with Smitten in 1998 before taking a decade long hiatus. - Stephen Thomas Elrewine, All Music Guide

 

The albums are released in their original CD configurations

 

1. Birdbrain

From the first notes of Buffalo Tom's second album, Birdbrain, it was clear the band had done more than their share of growing up since their self-titled debut, which had come out the year before. The title cut leaps out of the gate with a tight snap that leaves anything on the first album in the dust. Just as roadwork had firmed up Buffalo Tom's sound, their songwriting was also steadily improving.  While the band was still working the last vestiges of their clear Dinosaur Jr. influence at this point (J Mascis was in the producer's chair once again for this set), Birdbrain made it clear Buffalo Tom was far more than just Dino Jr.'s little brother band.   Mark Deming - All Music Guide

 

Birdbrain

Skeleton Key

Caress

Guy Who Is Me

Enemy

Crawl

Fortune Teller

Baby

Directive

Bleeding Heart

BONUS TRACKS

Heaven (Live Acoustic)

Reason Why (Live Acoustic)

 

2. Let Me Come Over

While Birdbrain was a marked improvement over Buffalo Tom's self-titled debut album, Let Me Come Over was truly the great leap forward for the band, sounding richer, more imaginative, and more emotionally powerful than anything they'd attempted in the past, having traded in the muddy clamour of their first recordings for a more layered sound that was clean, vibrant, and compelling. And while Buffalo Tom was shouting less on Let Me Come Over, they seemed to have a lot more to say; there's a heart and soul to the lovelorn "Taillights Fade" and the yearning "Velvet Roof" that digs a good bit deeper than their previous work, while even hard rockers such as "Stymied" and "Saving Grace" reflect a new maturity and seriousness of purpose.   Mark Deming - All Music Guide

 

Staples

Taillights Fade

Mountains Of Your Head

Mineral

Darl

Larry

Velvet Roof

I’m Not There

Stymied

Porchlight

Frozen Lake

Saving Grace

BONUS TRACK

Crutch

 

3. Big Red Letter Day

Buffalo Tom proved that their palate was a lot broader and their reach a lot farther than anyone might have expected on Let Me Come Over, and while the following year's Big Red Letter Day didn't show the same sort of growth, it also proved the band hadn't forgotten any of their tricks along the way. Big Red Letter Day sounds a bit poppier than it's immediate predecessor, though that seems largely a function of the production by the Robb Brothers, which features a bit more body and a significant amount more gloss than the leaner, cleaner tone of Let Me Come Over, and to these ears the strong, infectious melodies of the songs (and the tight ensemble playing by the group) hold up well to such treatment. Unlike their last two albums, Big Red Letter Day didn't display much in the way of unexpected new sides to Buffalo Tom -- it just found them doing what they do very well indeed, and anyone who loves the band will enjoy this record.   Mark Deming - All Music Guide

 

Sodajerk

I’m Allowed

Tree House

Would Not Be Denied

Latest Monkey

My Responsibility

Dry Land

Torch Singer

Late At Night

Suppose

Anything That Way

 

4. Sleepy-Eyed

Put Sleepy Eyed in your CD player, hit play, and prepare to be amazed -- "Tangerine," the lead-off cut, signals the brief but welcome return of "Dinosaur Jr. Jr." with two-and-three-quarters minutes of charging neo-grunge guitars and galloping drums, the likes of which you haven't heard from this band since Birdbrain. But, of course, Buffalo Tom sound a lot tighter, stronger, and more confident when they dig into the big shaggy dog rock than they did five years previous, and while they never get quite as rollicking as "Tangerine" again on Sleepy Eyed, cut for cut it's a far more direct and straightforward rock album than anything they'd managed since their creative breakthrough on Let Me Come Over. On Sleepy Eyed, Buffalo Tom go back to the old neighbourhood and show everybody how much bigger and stronger they've become -- it's sorta like a high school reunion, but louder and a lot more fun.   Mark Deming - All Music Guide

 

Tangerine

Summer

Kitchen Door

Rules

It’s You

When You Discover

Sunday Night

Your Stripes

Sparklers

Clobbered

Sundress

Twenty Points (The Ballad Of Sexual Dependency)

Souvenir

Crueler

 

5. Smitten

Whereas their last release, Sleepy Eyed drew on the fuzz of Let Me Come Over, Smitten, like Big Red Letter Day, has the mark of a "studio" album. Granted, Buffalo Tom being Buffalo Tom, studio care doesn't equal a schmaltzy Celine Dion record, but the sampled guitar loops of "Knot in It," the strings of "Scottish Windows," the horns of "White Paint Morning" and the piano and organ sprinkled throughout the album show that Buffalo Tom is trying to expand their sonic palate. Janovitz's trademark power ballads blossom wonderfully with the extra treatment and "Wiser" and "Scottish Windows" are among his best compositions.    Steve Kurutz, All Music Guide

 

Rachael

Postcard

Knot In It

The Bible

Scottish Windows

White Paint Morning

Wiser

See To Me

Register Side

Do You In

Under Milkwood

Walking Wounded

Release Date: 19 August 2013
Artist: Buffalo Tom
Catalogue No: BBQCD2105