Kere Buchanan – Goodbye Yesterday (2014)

Kere Buchanan’s new release, Goodbye Yesterday almost seems to be in a time warp. The New Zealander’s release harken back to a time when albums contained thoughtful and intriguing melodies. When arrangements were challenging yet sympathetic to songs and when real people played real instruments.

Kere, now living in Sydney, Australia, has proven his meddle with his first solo release, the stellar 2008 release, Starting Over; however, I first heard him on the project by Kerosene, the 2006 release Art of Survival an album made with co-writer and vocalist Glenn Bidmead. The Art of Survival is a multi-genre release which hints of Loggins and Messina and Mr. Mister singer-songwriter Richard Page.

With Goodbye Yesterday, Kere again shows his passion for the West Coast sound best typified by Jay Graydon, Chicago and Toto as well as the New York savvy of Steely Dan. The result is a standout track like “Could This Be Love.” It contains a rock solid rhythm combined with tasteful synth playing and background vocals which could have easily come from a David Foster produced album. On top of the song is an effective and well-cast female vocal lead.

The lead off track, “If You Need Somebody” is another fine example of Buchanan’s ear and savvy production chops. In the song Buchanan’s drums provide and tight and up-lifting groove to the Jay Graydon R&B type sound. Additionally, the guitars sound straight from a mid-80’s Lionel Ritchie album in texture and tone. Buchanan invites former Chicago vocalist Bill Champlin for a turn at the song, “ Never Gonna Give You Up”. The groove Buchanan supplies to Champlin seems to be a perfect fit as the song could have easily been drawn from one of Champlin’s best albums.

Goodbye Yesterday is audio treat from beginning to end. It may be a trip back to a different time but it’s well worth the ride.

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Preston Frazier

Preston Frazier is a bass-playing lawyer living in Chicago. His first Steely Dan exposure was with an eight-track cassette of 'Pretzel Logic.' He can be reached at slangofages@icloud.com; follow him on Twitter: @slangofages. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.