Review: Bronco by Orville Peck

Whew, what an album.

I would leave the review at those 4 words, but I don’t think I’d be doing Bronco justice.

Orville Peck‘s latest album, Bronco (8-April) is the full length follow up to his debut album Pony (2019) and fans may have noticed that Orville has moved up the horse ranks with each of his releases.
Pony
Show Pony (2020 EP)
Bronco

His passion for horses may surpass Tina Belcher of Bob’s Burgers love for horses.

But I digress…

Totalling 15 tracks and clocking in just under 60 minutes, Bronco, is a beautiful heartwrenching album of love, life, heartbreak, and healing.

Orville’s voice, a vibe of classic crooner like the late Roy Orbison, breaks our hearts wide open with the opening track, “Daytona Sand“. The driving drum pairs with the bass in his voice and sets the pace for the record.

The heartbreakingly beautiful “The Curse of the Blackened Eye” is a song that I interpret to go one of two ways. Depression or heartache. It’s a song that hits you straight in the gut. Or at least hit me in the gut as a tête-à-tête between a person and their depression. The soft and delicate music and vocals contrasts the pain in the message.

Tracks like “Outta Time” and “Kalahari Down” paint lyrical pictures of stories, characters, and life in dreamy 60’s California home movie reel faded colours. The music and Orville’s voice are warming and comforting like home. One of my favourite lyrics from all the songs on Bronco is from “Outta Time” as Orville sings, “She tells me she don’t like Elvis, I say I want a little less conversation please…” This simple line conveys more story than most novels.

Upbeat tracks like “Lafayette”, “Blush” have swagger that sway in the wind with dusty tumbleweeds.

Ballad-esque songs like “C’mon Baby, Cry” and “Iris Rose” and give me 1960’s Marty Robbins vibes. “Trample out the Days” is a song that I would compare to classic country ballads like “The River” by Garth Brooks. Powerful. Unwavering strength. The piano and strings of “Let Me Drown” accompany with perfection Orville’s heartbreaking vocals.

“Bronco”, the toe tapping title track is an infectious track that screams cowboy riding away into the setting sun. Though the guitars for me give me surf vibes so maybe the cowboy surfs into the setting sun.

The simplicity of “Hexie Mountains” is what makes it beautiful. There’s no flash. No bang. Just Orville solemnly singing against an interlaced web of music that whisks one away to the dark green forest of the mountains.

The beats in “Any Turn” give me Johnny Cash‘s version of “I’ve Been Everywhere” vibes and I am here for it. This track is the rocker on the album. Fun and funky. I can’t stop listening to it.

With “City of Gold” and “All I Can Say” closing out the album, fans are left wanting more.

FAVOURITE TRACK: Any Turn

MUST LISTEN TRACK: The Curse of the Blackened Eye

RATING OUT OF 5 ROCK HANDS: 3 🤘🤘🤘

Listen to Bronco below