Sometimes listening to an album feels like opening a good, aged bottle of wine. Music has, like wine, a vintage. Peter Buffett’s debut album The Waiting has all the expression and vitality we expect from the glorious 1987 vintage. But remember to let it air before consuming. That goes for both mature wine and mature music…
The mid-1980s was an exciting time for Peter Buffett. In his book Life is What You Make It, he tells about how he worked with a startup channel called MTV, made music for commercials and movies. The Waiting was released on the Narada Mystique Label, and is the first of three albums that quickly established Peter Buffett as a top New Age music artist. The late 1980s is also known as the genre’s golden age, and it was a fantastic time to be a New Age music artist.
Waiting So Long
I love albums where you from the very first notes can both hear and sense that the artist has a lot to say. The Waiting is such an album. I don’t know if the first track, Empire Builder, is dedicated to Peter’s famous father, Warren Buffett – but listening to the song is like watching people of great determination and skill at work. The song has a simple yet powerful melody.
The Waiting will make fans of analogue synths feel right at home (the sound of the Roland D50, MKS-8 and Kurzweil 250), while many today will think of the sound as dated and very 1980s. It is obviously not for everybody. That said, I think that most people would enjoy the hit from this album, Generation. It is truly a song of epic proportions, with an amazing speed and power. The songs Aberdeen and Generation Prelude are both building up to this climax. The song paints a dramatic picture. Perhaps it is an illustration of how each generation struggle to find its place in the world?
The two following songs, New West and One More Time, show that Peter at this stage was a complete artist. Notice the brilliant piano melodies and synth arrangement. The last track though, Big Sky, is – contrary to the name – not a song big as the enormous, blue sky. It is a quite forgettable ending to an otherwise fantastic album.
To end the review where I started; with a wine analogy. The Waiting is like a wine with stunning depth, class and youthfulness. That is not bad for a an almost 30 year old album. It also tells the story of an artist that would give the world amazing music in the years that followed. A great debut indeed.
Score: 95/100 – see how I rate music here.
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