steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Stephanie Rearick

"The Bucket Rider" CD

Uvulittle Records

Genres: singer / songwriter, piano pop

Uvulittle Records
PO Box 3220
Madison WI 53704

Mar 8 - 14 2004

The Bucket Rider is pianist/singer Stephanie Rearick's newest album, and for a solo record it's pretty good.  These tracks are basking in dramatic, simple piano-and-voice brilliance - if you are a fan of singer/songwriter-type pop music, and don't mind the occasional (though obligatory) folk and classical overtones, you'll likely find a lot of good things to enjoy on this disc.

There are two problems I noticed on this album.  Firstly, the tracks end up becoming monotonous by the album's end - this is, of course, due to the fact that it's all done on the same piano, accompanied by the same voice.  Especially for those unaccustomed to this type of pop, The Bucket Rider can become bland and repetitive.

Problem number two is related to melody.  In short, there isn't enough of it.  There is a lack of hooks, and many of these songs rely too much on atmosphere and lushness.  Rearick's pretty voice can only carry these songs so far, as they have not been made infectious enough to stand the test of time.

However, to focus plainly on the negatives is to overlook the positives, of which there are many.  These tunes are ultimately very pleasant, filled with pretty textures, whimsical piano swirls, and a very rich mood.  Given its genre, The Bucket Rider is a very, very solid disc - lovers of this unique form of pop will not want to miss out.  Take note.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]