Spun: Busdriver

Though still relatively unheard of, Busdriver (born Regan Farquhar)has been twisting up eardrums since the early nineties with the vocabulary of a Pulitzer Prize-winner and elocution to trump Outkast. The tendency to flow with the melody of a track rather than the harmony produced an unmistakable style that carries Busdriver from album to album, but also produced a critical reaction as varied as his vocalese influences. His still-relative obscurity in the face of his obvious gift for music is the subject of his latest, Roadkill Overcoat.

While Busdriver’s past albums have been thematically scattershot, Overcoat stands as his strongest effort to date, especially while united by its dark, ruminating overtones.

The leap forward in quality is correlated to Busdriver’s apparent leap forward in maturity. Gone is the arrogance oozing off every word, replaced by self-consciousness and doubt. Simply put, Busdriver has realized that he might never make it big, and he’s coming to terms with it in his own way. Showcased with lyrics like, “I’m a walking plane crash to your moms and dads / ostentatious and crass / pulling the gauze off your scabs,” he admits his faults, but still has fun doing it.

Lyrically, Overcoat recalls the lighthearted intelligence of Busdriver’s previous work without rehashing it. Listening to someone madly tear through one line only to slow the next one to the crawl of a frozen slug will always amaze with its technicality, but it’s Busdriver’s newfound honesty and integrity that make Overcoat worthwhile. Though Busdriver was successful in releasing several excellent collections of songs in the past, Overcoat stands out as his first truly excellent album.

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