Luke Buda: Special Surprise
By Shaunt Chait
Inspired by the imminent arrival of his son, cool hand Luke offers up his second solo offering, and it's bigger than Buda. Lush, plush, and featuring Wellington's royal flush (members of Cassette, The Inkling, Black Seeds, Trinityroots et al, and most of The Phoenix Foundation). The album also includes finishing touches from the dynamic duo Lee Prebble (mixing) and Mike Gibson (mastering). For all this, 'Special Surprise' is unmistakably Buda's baby. The album is filled with trippy sci-fi, instrumentals, folky melancholy, bright pop, a cascade of instruments especially synths, a bit of good old fashioned rock lead breaks, nods to the '80s (note the album art), and all other Buda trademarks. As with every record he has put his name to, different songs will grab you on different listens, and that's surely a goal of any songwriter. One of the highlights for me is the harmonies in combination with Cassette's Craig Terris, which are stronger than the Warsaw Pact. I think the Pegasus just grew yet another wing. On Arch Hill Recordings.