Single Review: Eric Church, “Round Here Buzz”

“Round Here Buzz”
Eric Church

Written by Eric Church, Luke Dick, and Jeff Hyde

Eric Church writes about small towns a lot.

It’s a theme that could get repetitive if the small town experience wasn’t such a core element of his worldview.  “Round Here Buzz” has the familiar elements of high school bleachers and dingy bars with cheap drinks, but the images are neither glorified nor criticized. They’re just there, their presence forming the detailed backdrop of the melancholy experience he’s working through as he misses the girl who had dreams too big for the little town.

It’s subtle in its sadness, and subdued in its sound. Church’s ability to deliver an understated gem like this is often overshadowed by his most radio-friendly and/or critic-friendly tracks, which tend to operate on a larger scale. But “Round Here Buzz” grows in its power upon repeated listens, and is every bit the peer of Mr. Misunderstood‘s acclaimed title track and that set’s one big hit to date, “Record Year.”

There may be a more talented male artist with at least one foot in the mainstream of country music right now, but if there is, I can’t name him.

Grade: A

2 Comments

  1. I think “Give Me Back My Hometown” did this theme a bit better, but the more subdued nature of “Round Here Buzz” is an interesting contrast to “Hometown’s” straight-ahead despair. It’s not among my very favorites from this album, but then again every song on it would probably get at least an “A” from me, so no complaints.

  2. I’m liking Church better than I used to but right now “A” seems a bit high. Maybe after a few more listens …

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