Dents And Shells - Richard Buckner

Generally favorable reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Dents and Shells is Buckner in top form, using a broad brush to manifest his enigmatic poetics, hallucinatory atmospheres, and melodies that appear and evaporate like breath exhaled onto cold glass.
  2. 60
    Picks up where 2002's Impasse left off, with Buckner at large in a dusty, wide-screen landscape of brushed guitars, weeping pedal steel and decorous strings. [Dec 2004, p.114]
  3. 75
    The songs remain the same: clear-eyed musings on breakups-as-existential-crises. [Dec 2004, p.124]
  4. This is one of those hushed, moody, late-night records - though with much more going on than mere melancholia.
  5. It's moody as hell, with an aching, nameless despair and all the intimacy of a crack-up. [Jan 2005, p.108]
  6. There's a swagger about Dents and Shells unseen since Since.
  7. If Dents and Shells stands apart from Buckner's oeuvre in any way, it's in the prominence and evenhandedness of its instrumental arrangements.
  8. 70
    [Dents] is, by Buckner's standards, gentle. [Nov 2004, p.130]
  9. Although this is not Buckner's masterpiece, it's a beautiful window into the head of someone who writes from the heart.
  10. Adding to the pages written by Elliott Smith and Lou Reed, Buckner is the modern age wrapped up in the frustrations and sympathies of a wanderer.
  11. Its unity keeps it solid, but it also keeps Dents and Shells free of surprises.
  12. Far more mysterious and (perhaps not coincidentally) alluring than most Buckner outings, Dents and Shells is a claustrophobic comedown album wrapped in disillusion and sorrow.
  13. Dents and Shells is human in the best and truest kind of way: it is the work of a man, appreciative of feeling and progress, warts and all.
  14. A set of tunes blessed with melody but hardly immediately memorable.
  15. Dents and Shells matches the intensity and concision of Impasse, while adding an organic, spontaneous feel to the proceedings.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. rachelo
    Feb 4, 2005
    Simple rolling melodies humm with a hungry discomfort. Insults and invitations, humbly passive spite, an aggressivly condesending contribution to the very walls he laments about. A beautiful bad dream that is slow to wake. Full Review »
  2. BenjaminBunny
    Nov 24, 2004
    Richard Buckner will probably never make another album as moving as "Devotion + Doubt," but he'll continue to make records that sort of come close. Place this one somewhere just below "Impasse" and just above "Since" in terms of overall quality. Full Review »
  3. Nick
    Oct 30, 2004
    Another solid release from RB - a grower - I found Impasse more immediate, but there are a couple of real gems here.