Published Sep 30, 2014Buck 65 has long used music as a method of therapy, writing emotional songs about personal issues such as his mother's death ("Ice") and his relationship with his father ("Roses & Bluejays"), so it shouldn't be surprising he'd work through his divorce by writing and recording what must have been a very cathartic album. Songs like "Baby Blanket" and "Superhero in My Heart" are honest, heartbreaking songs about this ordeal. Neverlove also touches on intimate relationships both before his marriage and after his divorce. "Je T'Aime Mon Amour" is about his ex-girlfriend and self-professed soulmate Claire Berest (who appeared multiple times on Secret House Against the World), "Only War" pulls from past relationships for a song about romantic warfare and club parody "Super Pretty Naughty" was an attempt to impress a prospective girlfriend.
Buck deserves kudos for putting himself out there, and for continuing to experiment: "Gates Of Hell" features some effective scream therapy on the chorus; "Superhero In My Heart" has him attempting to sort of sing; and he plays around with odd time signatures on "That's the Way Love Dies" and "She Fades," the latter written in triads rather than couplets. The subject matter of Neverlove is heavy and the electronic production is often beautifully orchestrated but dark, so it can make for a depressing listen. But with a couple of dance tracks, lots of hooks and touching lyrics that are pretty easy to identify with, it's also one of Buck's most accessible albums.
Unfortunately, as with his other major label releases, he holds back on his rapping and relies too much on collaborators for his hooks. Fans of his older music will probably prefer his other new album, Laundromat Boogie, more. (Warner)